The following is an assessment of Dawn Treader’s current training accomplishments and her deficiencies. She is four years old this spring and I have ridden her several times every spring and fall since her second fall. She probably has less than twenty-five hours of riding time in all. This spring and summer I hope to ride her gently, but regularly right through summer and fall into winter someday making her a real bona fide bridle horse.
Dawn Treader is worried as I ride her. She moves forward nervously a little too fast. When I ask her to halt she stops reluctantly and then stomps or swings her hips around. She receives cues from the bosal stiffly, and sometimes shows rebellion by throwing her head around. She does not back-up but stiffens with the back-up cues. When I try to ride her through a gate she is claustrophobic of being too close to the fence, forcing me to stretch to reach the latch rope, and once through it she does not allow me to get close enough to close and latch it.
She allows me to catch her. She is pleasant to work around. There is no indication that she would like to buck. She walks trots and canters, but she is always on the look-out for scary stuff ahead, so that she does not keep a steady pace. She responds to my outside leg and outside rein and will walk shoulder in both left and right along a fence when I use it as a barricade from moving forward.