Yesterday marked the first day I started my horses on their new work schedule, I posted the schedule in my last blog post, but what it didn’t include was how they reacted to the work.
I was expecting a lot of piss and vinegar that was for sure, I was expecting lots of running and kicking up heels, and pulling on the lines etc, etc. Because Mac had not been handled at all since November, and Maggie since September, so this is what I thought would happen.
What I didn’t think would happen, was exactly what I got. They where great! Mac was a little pushy, and Maggie was a little pumped, but noting like I thought they would be. Mac willingly did all the maneuvers I asked of him, he even offered the bow without me asking at one point, he even remembered side-pass from the ground, which I hadn’t really touched on since the early summer. This was exceptional but not totally surprising since he is a 10 year old gelding, and they tend to be more ‘linear’ with their attitude.
Maggie however is the one that really surprised me! She was extremely pumped up, but she is more of a « Hot« horse then Mac is, on a regular day. Thinking back to this time last year when she barely knew how to lunge, and would drag me around the arena at a flat out run, this year she showed all that same power, but with a mature mind. What showed me that she has matured mentally in that yes, she got all pumped up and wanted to run, even know she was taring around the place, she just « floated » at the end of the lunge line, not pulling, even when she tossed her head around, she kept that perfect circle.
That is the sign of a mature horse, where they have all this pent up energy, and can’t help but expel it, but they don’t lose their head entirely, they remember the rules and stick to them.
I was still able to bring her to a dead stop without issue, but when I sent her out again she just wanted to run. Eventually she calmed down enough that she was doing a nice little trot.
This is going to be a very interesting year!
What signs have you noticed the would indicated your horses have matured mentally?