Today Ruby was calm in the round pen, through the saddling, lunging with the mecate’ and mounting. We kept everything at a walk all day. When I mounted I could feel her anxiety and it grew the longer I was on board. We stopped in the woods. I dismounted and she ate the fresh spring grass. As yesterday, we were quarter-mile away from other horses and she was perfectly calm and contented. I have rarely seen her so at peace with just the two of us.
Our biggest problem is that in her stressing she wants to speed up. However, all the while the stress is apparent, she is never difficult to handle other than her fear causes me to pay attention. Her fear may cause her to get rammy in a tight spot. She is always light. I hardly need to completely take the slack out of the line.
I’m guessing my blogs about Ruby could get somewhat repetitive. When this happens, I tend to blend the days together. We’re doing the same routine every day: a trail ride through the woods around our fields and training in the pen with all the usual exercises. She’s getting better at everything, more athletic and smooth in various movements.
Whenever I start a horse, the first thing that comes out are bugs in his or her character. Because I try to start horses with a clean slate, most of my trainees have no vices. When there are bugs I have to figure out what to do. Now that I know Ruby and have a pretty good idea of what her problems are, the days have become the same with gradual improvements in everything.
We haven’t totally solved the suppressed fear, but my best prognosis would be steady, calm riding intermingled with some long trail rides. This may bring healing. The older cowboys used to call this prescription “wet saddle blankets”.