Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Four Thoroughbreds, one indoor arena
Sounds a bit like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it? Especially on a crisp fall evening--all the excuse a horse needs to act like a wild and fierce war horse. One other horse used to be enough to send me back to Bar's pen without working him, but after his antics the other day, I knew we had work to do.
Luckily, it was a bunch of other Thoroughbred owners and their horses, including Manna and Katie. They tend to be on the forgiving side when someone gets a little raucous. Oh, and they don't usually blame you if their horse acts up--in fact, there is often laughter and camaraderie instead of huffiness and condemnation.
Bar looked into the arena, saw all three other horses and riders and those brown eyes got really big. I let him watch for a second, then opened the door slowly, warning the one woman I haven't had him around that sometimes he gets a little dramatic. She chuckled.
Right. These are Thoroughbred owners. They like a horse with that buzz going on. In fact, they actually prefer it.
I wasn't brave enough to ride with all the cantering and energy out there, but I did work him in the round pen and he actually did really well. Even Katie said so. He stayed focused on what he was doing, with only a couple minor lapses into slightly frenetic behavior--generally when Romeo was cantering around the outside of the round pen. Very distracting, apparently. In fact, the third woman commented that he looked really happy! Yay! Then she laughed when he started bucking and showing off.
I still wasn't quite ready to get on him, though, until it was just Katie and Manna, Forrest and Romeo. And then it was bareback, and only to walk, side pass, back, and stand still while there was cantering and sideways-Forrest-trotting going on. BUT. I got on. And Bar did great.
Maybe we should work with Thoroughbred people all the time. It will be good for both Bar's confidence and mine.