SO freaking happy right now, like dancing around in my underwear like nobody is around happy!
New guy, Brolio (Bro), I picked him up from Finger Lakes right around Labor Day. Lots of hacking until the winter actually hit (pretty much until Mid-December). Started taking lessons a few weeks ago with my trainer and another rider with an OTTB. Had a nasty, dreadful colic scare right before New Years, like given a 60% chance of survival and a lovely vet bill that surpassed his purchase price... You may remember me posting about him throwing temper tantrums during lessons in December.
We-ell, we've been tantrum free since Jan 1 (actually Jan 2 was the first ride post-colic), hooray #1! Started asking him to soften in the bridle and come up through his back, which he's now very happy to do with little issue. He's graduated to 1 day a week sans running martingale, since he's been so good. Lessons have been comprised of fairly simple and small gymnastic exercises that he seems finally able to slow his little brain down and go right through, no barging through my aids, no grabbing the bit. Transitions within the gaits are coming along nicely, more than happy to "collect" his canter to nice, quiet and bouncy and then sent on to forward, almost hand gallop and then back to "collected."
But today was just THAT much better. We had a lovely time on the flat, again asking for transitions (even started some trot-halt, halt-trot!), got a dreamy, uphill canter that I was killing myself to get on my previous horse. So since Bro was being just simply awesome, I decided to reward him by finishing with a little jumping. He LOFFS jumping, he's gets so happy when he gets to go over even small fences. A small cross rail (I think I'd be pushing it if it was over 2'3" in the center) was placed on the diagonal in the ring. Got him listening at a nice, even paced trot and popped over it, landing on that dreamy canter (flipped his lead too!). Yay, big pats. "Alright, let's see if we can get a similar result by cantering to the fence..."
Wouldn't ya know, I've got a horse with an adjustable stride?!?
Holy freakin' crapola, Batman! Can't say I've had the pleasure of that before! Always heard/read about this illustrious "adjustable striding," but it was kinda like a unicorn, you wanted to see/touch it, but it seemed pure fantasy. Before we jumped, I was already dreaming about taking him to some straight dressage shows to show off his moves. OH, that CANTER just felt absolutely amazing. Just wow... Of course, I have not photographic or video evidence, as I was in the ring along today, but I swear it really happened!
Trying not to jinx myself, but d@mn cannot WAIT to get this horse out on course!