As you might imagine, breaking my finger for the second time in six months because Beau can’t behave himself (just this time, first time was totally my fault) has given me some trust issues.
I’ve been to the barn about twice since I broke my pinky the first week of January. Never alone. Hopefully, that will change soon, as my leaser has agreed to switch days with me, which works better with my new semester schedule.
Beau is a good boy. He’s saved my butt multiple times over the course of our almost-three-year relationship. I really do love his cutie-pie face.
I remember hearing once that a good performance horse will always come with quirks, problems, or maintenance.
I suppose I lucked out with a horse that *knock on wood* has been lame all of 2 days, both because his feet were sore (shoeing/hard ground).
His quirk could be any number of things: his obsession with licking, his need to eat salt blocks in four days, his baby tendency to eat the cross ties when he’s nervous or worried.
Now while I’m not a huge fan of the word, “problem,” Beau definitely has his own set of issues. He would rather go sideways than straight, is s l o w l y learning that the bit won’t eat him if he accepts it, is protective of his food, and throws tantrums when he’s being turned out.
And yet, he has so much going for him.
He would jump 5′ everytime we rode if I let him. I’ve never ridden a horse that loves to jump so much.
He’s blissfully happy outside. As long as he gets turnout, he’s a happy camper.
He can do the dressage movements. He’s got an awesome floaty, extended trot, a good collected trot, and a great leg-yield.
What he can’t do, he tries to learn. Sure, he has bad days where he doesn’t want to move or throws tantrums. But the majority of days, he’s trying to figure out my awkward cues and more importantly, he’s already come so far.
Lastly, this horse has a heart of gold, the heart of a champion. He’s loyal, affectionate (read: will try to lick you to death), and knows his rider. For example, two weeks ago he carted around my muggle (non-equestrian) friend through a beginner ride with a slow walk and an even slower jog (perfect for learning!). Then last week he gave another friend who has a Thoroughbred of her own a much more forward ride and challenged her to figure him out. Because of this, I trust him.
Sure, I might catch a few broken bones in the process, but he has so much to teach me. He’ll push me, then he’ll love on me (so that I can’t even be upset!).
Mission accomplished: I’m ready to love riding again for sure. I see a trip to the barn in the near future!