Had my first (and most current at press time come to think of it) lesson on Mister Eliot! It was a blast. “My” previous “projects” (all the quotation marks because I wasn’t the owner and I’m sure as hell not a Trainer, but I did log quite a few good hours) have been more along the Evergreen With Baggage lines, and it is so, so refreshing to get to work with one that is more of a blank slate– teaching instead of re-teaching– and has Talent to boot.
We worked on the same basics I pretty much always need my first lesson on a new horse…yes, I really am serious about you listening to my aids, and it’s
OK imperative that I reinforce that. We got our “do I haaaaaaave to” moment over with at the walk, and moved up to trot to keep his baby brain busy. He was still a little boogery at the busier corners of the ring (mounting block, jump standard pile, open aisle with horses coming in for dinner…so basically, the one “good” corner is the one with the mirror, so I totally get to cheat and glance up at him and pretend we look that awesome going around the whole ring…just kiddin’, I browbeat myself about it too) so a lot pretty much all of our work centered around keeping him focused on his rider. Little more bending and baby leg yields. Got to canter him for the first time since he’s been here. Here is a big baby Thoroughbred who hasn’t hardly cantered in months, and I had more trouble getting/keeping him in the gait than anything else. We had a little trouble picking up the right lead, which is his stiffer side, but left was no problem. It wasn’t much of a “workable” canter, but I was blown away with how comfy and naturally balanced he is at this stage in his training. He’s got a humongous stride (side effect of having legs that are 8 miles long I guess) and I just want to take him out on a cross country course right noooooowwwww….
So, there you have it. He’s not mine and I’m Not Getting Attached (she says as she knows her afternoon plans include a stop at the tack store in search of light blue polos, and her car contains scissors and a big empty feed bag for bringing grass from Land of the Broken Ponies….hey, better than the lawnmower eating it) and he’s about as far as you can get from 15hh and bay but he’s wonderful and he’s helping fill in a hole in my heart.