Katie went up to Slide Mountain last weekend to visit and to start to plan out her upcoming move up there. She confessed my latest incident with Bar for me to Cheri, who sighed and said she knew something was up because I hadn't emailed in awhile. Silence, apparently, is a flag where I'm concerned.
Cheri has worried about me since I got Bar, and not without cause. She grew up near the racetrack, saw the side of racing that gives it a bad name, and saw horses that were not easy to retrain--even for very experienced riders. It is apparently a surprise--even to racehorse owners--that these horses can be retrained and become something other than legs and heart churning down the track. I know from several sources (besides my own biased perspective) that they can be successfully retrained and in fact enjoy life beyond the track.
But it is not necessarily an easy task.
It goes without saying that my learning curve has been steeper than I anticipated where Bar is concerned, and very often it's been parabola-shaped. What goes up must come down, as it were.
He probably does deserve a better, more seasoned rider than I am who could do more with him, give him a better "job," but he is stuck with me as I fumble through all this. For the most part, though, he seems to like it. I'm fairly certain he'll like it more when I ride better, and he's already calmer since I've gone back to establishing clear, consistent rules and boundaries.
I know it will be a longer journey with Bar than it would be with a "safer" horse, but what he teaches me along the way will be well worth it.