Z: Week One

My plan last fall was to put a solid 90 days on Z. That didn’t seem to happen. Weather, holidays and Z being kicked to soreness threw a Monkey Wrench into my Grand Plan. With the new year, it’s time to get back to my Grand Plan.

Last time Rugby Guy worked Z she was back to her same old ways of bucking, kicking out, and balking. It was extremely frustrating to me as I had hoped we would be further along at that point in her education. I began to think, once again, that she may just become a big pet instead of a riding horse.

Molly, who has moved to Missouri, and hasn’t seen Z for months told me over the phone that Z should be moving quite along because of her foundation given by RH, the trainer who took her for 4 months last spring. I had to disillusion her that I wasn’t as enamored of the work RH had done with Z.

The fact of the matter is he got her to accept a saddle and a rider and that was about it. I have worked for a professional trainer (who showed in the Quarter Horse and Appaloosa World shows with horses she qualified herself) and I know that 90 days would bring a horse far more along then that. When Z came back from his place she was obedient (that was good) but there was also a frenetic, excitable horse too.

When we got back to putting Z under saddle on Tuesday, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Part of me figured we would be working through more bucking and resistance and I accepted that as just what would be. However, I am HAPPY to report that is not what happened! We had a surprising start to the new year, because, except for some very mild kick outs in the very beginning, she setteled down to riding like a seasoned horse!

WTH!? Okay, it just goes to show you not to put expectations on the horse and the ride.

Wednesday was even better with a bit of trail riding in the pasture, and Thursday was even way better with a lot of trail riding in the pasture. I am starting to see the horse I felt Z could become: a Steady Eddie.

For example, in the round pen when she is worked, other horses can come up along the fence line (not a design I favor). This particular young colt is a pest and though Z will pin her ears, as she goes by him, she doesn’t feed off his energy and start running away, bucking or being disobedient. For example, this colt likes to pick fights with his pasture mate and they were less then 15 feet away when they exploded into play – Z did nothing but continue her work.

Yesterday in the pasture we were using, there is a lonely neighbor horse, who, realizing he had a beautiful Appy girl close by, decided to flag his tail and show off a bit. Though Z increased her trot with a small burst of energy she did not go bananas or take off, acting crazy.

THIS is where I expected us to be last fall so hopefully these next 12 weeks (90 days) will cement the core of her education and we will be able to move on, during the summer, to more exciting work.

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