When I got his bridle in workable condition, we tried again. This time he was still energetic, but less flippy with his head. Roscoe was still not thrilled with his bit though. So the next ride I changed him from the D ring two piece to the D ring three piece revolver bit. He definitely was happier. We walked around working on his focus. This was a tough job for him since Larry was working on the arena. The tractor was in there, jumps all in the middle and the drag in a different spot. He eventually figured out Larry was not doing anything all that interesting and that he could get to work. Except he wanted to trot and he did a bit of a hop too. Did I mention all his energy?
Now my nerves kick in. Is he going to explode? Can I handle what he will give? Do I know the right answer? What the hell am I doing training a 4 year old by myself? Will I ever get us back to where we were before he left?
We continued to walk around as I fought my demons. I remembered when Winston was being trained. His rider said she had to act like a wet towel. She needed to be a quiet, but solid presence on his back that moved with him. A wet towel does not flap or react. So I decided I needed to find my inner wet towel. My pony wanted to trot and I needed to let him. I had to just be a wet towel on his back. It took a few more laps around before I convinced myself I could pull it off.
After all my worries, he gave me about a half an arena worth of really energetic trot before settling into his working trot. I swear he was like "See, no problem." My pony is awesome to put up with me. Some days I think he is training me. We kept trotting and we both enjoyed the release of energy. And as if I was not happy enough with him, Roscoe started reaching down, stretching. All I could think was that there was proof I was not screwing up my pony.
Hopefully, during my next ride the wet towel will only be needed to wipe my brow after another great ride. Plus all the horses had a dental visit so Roscoe should be more comfortable with his mouth.
It is tough to realize I am the one holding Roscoe back, but in the long run I know going slow won't be bad. Right now it is more difficult because I see other Cobs his age doing so much. His half sister who we just brought east when we dropped him off in May, already looks great under saddle. Someday, we will have our moment to shine.