It’s been three weeks with Archie the Tiny Terrorist. (He’s not actually a total terrorist, but he is a small horse and the smaller they are the closer to the Devil so….)
We’ve established that tantrums only result in working harder, that I can’t steer and that dressage is like, really hard work. He’s also learned water is fun, banks are fun and the cows next door are not going to eat him (okay, the last one is questionable).
Archie has been a gem in our lessons while I have… uh, not. Turns out staring at the standards/jumps/taking your leg off and just becoming dead weight is not conducive to success. Oops. Fortunately, my trainer resolved this by having an entire lesson where two strides out from each fence she yelled, “ATTACK!” in my ear. Unconventional, but successful? I know what my next bonnet is going to say…
He’s also getting a training ride/week to just help things along. It felt like a good way to help ensure a successful start and it’s turned out to be a great decision. It helps reinforce what I’m learning in lessons, gives me good homework to work on during the rest of the week and gives me a chance to see that, yes, in fact, my horse can do xyz if I ride and ask correctly and insist upon it.
I recently acquired a Pivo and have been playing around with it as well – it’s worked well in schooling rides, but I have yet to get it to fully cooperate during a lesson, so my video over fences is severely lacking. I’m hopeful with some additional experimentation I’ll have success one of these days.
That’s essentially the extent of Archie’s first three weeks – not a whole lot of exciting stuff going on, but hopefully building a good foundation for the future.