Chinook is back out with his mom and Brandy, but now he's a big boy. No more nursing, just time to get some schooling from the mares. He's been a good boy overall. Although he gets pushy when I am away (and I was away for the last week working in Bend), he is capable of learning how to not be pushy again.
He leads like a champ, is much better about his feet, and has a generally chill attitude about everything. He'll stand tied for over an hour! He does haunch turns, forehand turns, and backs up. He, like his mom, is hard to get moving but he'll trot if you really get him going. Today he wore a stirrup leather around his girth, very similar to the setup I first started Sage in, and he didn't have a care in the world. He also wears sweatshirts and saddle blankets over his back with no issues at all. I lay over his back and scratch his belly, and he doesn't even flinch. I am still hoping to hold out until January on gelding him, and so far so good on that front!
Although my time has been very short, I had a little bit of time off this afternoon and set to work on Sage. The only thing we've really done since the last post is go for a walk up the road/field, where she was good but had a few spooky/bucking moments. I had asked my farrier if he would ride her the next time he came out, because I hadn't been getting anywhere and wanted to see her respond to someone else. Of course, I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me thinks there is no problem with where we are at, and the other part tells me she needs something more.
So today I vowed that I would try my hardest to get her trotting no matter the consequences. I am fully capable of riding her even if she bucks, which is just what I had to tell myself. So I got on and I kicked her forward, clucked to her, told her to trot. At first, she did what she typically does: bunches up, slows down, lifts her head, acts like she's thinking about doing something bad. But I kept kicking, and encouraging, and FINALLY she took a few steps of trot. After a few more tries, all I had to do was lay my leg against her side and cluck and off we went! She was so ridiculously floaty, so balanced for a young horse. I felt like I was riding a broke horse. It was like once she figured it out, it was no big deal. We might have done a few circles of the arena total, but I'm sure she knew I was thrilled with her. I can't wait to get out there again and do some more trotting!
AND...as I was in Bend last week, I happened to catch the beginning of the BendFilm Festival. Amazingly, they were showing "Wild Horse, Wild Ride" (http://www.wildhorsewildride.com/), and I was able to get a ticket. If you haven't already heard me babble on about this movie, I have wanted to see it for months! It follows several trainers in the Extreme Mustang Makeover and has several scenes showing how amazing mustangs are. The filmmaker was also present and answered several questions about the movie. It was fabulous! So, if you get a chance to see it, definitely do!
My schedule is very busy for the next month: traveling to St. Louis and then back to Calgary, giving my senior paper presentation on the unwanted horse, and taking the national veterinary board exam. So, posts may be slow, but I swear we're still all alive and well. :)