March 6, 2011

One Year Ago...

One year ago, I handed over a check and watched a giant bay horse load onto a giant 3 horse trailer.  He was too long for the divider to close so he was just tied in this big open space.  I followed the trailer the 40 miles home carefully looking for any signs of distress or that he may have come untied.  When we got to the barn, I went in untied him and unloaded him.

He immediately picked his head up, looked around and snorted loudly into the wind. He pranced around looking at all the new people and horses.  Holy crap, was this the same horse that was half asleep on the cross ties an hour ago?  No worries, he hadn't been off his property in several years, he's allowed to be excited.  I turned him out in his temporary pen that would be his home until he got settled enough to join the herd.  He pranced and trotted around, a beautiful floaty trot.  Oh My God!  That's MY horse!  That was the first official day Dexter was mine.  I had never had a horse with such pretty natural movement, and I was overwhelmed with the possibilities of what to do with it.

Since that day me and Dexter have had some ups and downs.  Starting with mostly downs, now mostly ups.  The first couple of months he acted like a completely different horse, high strung, snorty and overall un-focused.  I freaked out a little bit, thinking I had bought too much horse than I could handle.  The only reason I had talked myself into buying a 17H horse was because he was so docile when I tried him out.  At first I figured he was just getting used to the new surroundings but since he didn't calm down after several weeks I got worried.  Eventually we took him off alfalfa and he calmed right down, mostly, he still has his days, but I can handle one or two every now and again.

I thought I'd take a little look back at me and Dexter's journey over the past year and what we've accomplished:

  • Changed his name from "Pud" (yuck) to "Dexter"
  • Removed a very large painful wolf tooth (much better)
  • Bought a Dexter sized trailer
  • Got dumped twice (both times found out he was getting alfalfa)
  • Seriously thought about selling (after the second dump)
  • Started taking lessons thanks to the new trailer
  • Fixed the behind the vertical issue, he now borders on heavy in the hands.
  • Fixed his 4ish beat canter, so smooth now
  • Stopped constantly chewing on the bit (thanks to the tooth pull), he now only does it when he's irritated.
  • Re-learned my diagonals (See previous post)
  • Learned how to sit a giant trot, for a little while anyways
  • Learned to travel in a straight line
  • Started to learn how to bend and follow the contact down
  • Re-learned how enjoy just "hanging-out" with my horse
  • Went to our first show!
With where we've come and some of the doubts I've had, I'm really happy with what we've accomplished together in the last year.  We coudlnt' have done it without our patient trainer.  But Dexter has been so honest and hard working, trying to figure things out.  And I've learned to be more consistent to help him understand exactly what I want.

We aren't perfect, but we've come a long way, and with our first show out of the way, I'm excited to see where we will end up next year.

1 comment:

  1. Recently found your blog, Dexter is super cute. So glad you changed his name from Pud, haha! :)