When I take in a horse for training I inquire about any previous training. Almost all of my troubles with horses have been with horses that have been worked with before. I like a clean slate. With Ruby and Pearl it was different because I assumed that I had been the primary trainer and I knew their history. I really believe their owners didn’t do anything to hurt them. When I had trouble with Ruby, I didn’t know from where or how, but I thought I might be dealing with a problem horse. Bad, unprofessional training or some kinds of abuse can wreck a horse for its whole life, not to mention the danger for the hapless human working unbeknownst with an abused or poorly worked with horse.
Now after a little more than two weeks of working with Ruby, I’m generally confident that there are no more surprises. I believe that things will work out for Ruby so that she can be a well-adjusted, good, usable horse.
The only problem now is this blog may be less interesting. My high school creative writing teacher told us that readers need conflict in literature in order to hold their interest. However, I’m hoping that everything from here on with Ruby is just normal, which means lots of repetition. I promise, at least for now, that I’m not going to fabricate some kind of conflict to keep it interesting.
So here it goes–a regular mundane day of training:
Ruby had learned a lesson from our last session. She attempted to break to a faster gait twice. On both occasions I corrected her by pulling her back the opposite direction. Nevertheless, there was a gentle push to go faster; her walk had a lilt in it.
As a first we accomplished the pinwheel. We were more controlled when we did the ‘shoulder in’. She’s going both ways fairly consistently now. She’s going through the gates with more patience. She’s engaging her rear quarters to stop. She’s able to stand quietly for a length of time in the field with me on her back and not be pushing me with snorting, stomping and other nervous, impolite shenanigans. She stands quietly now. She straddles front and back legs over a pole and full passes about 8 feet of it both ways, but not without showing a little apprehension.
She feels like a different horse; she’s lost about 95% of her fear.
Pearl is not as advanced in training as Ruby. Pearl usually starts out training sessions with a certain amount of crabbiness. She shows this by shaking her head and cocking her ears crookedly. Keeping up with Ruby she accomplished the pin wheel for the first time. She engages her hindquarters, halts are square and she turns better to the left then to the right.
Ruby and Pearl are alike in that they are both very responsive to any light touch from both legs and hands.