|They still shamelessly beg for treats though.|
Today (now that the weather is closer to freezing than 0) we worked together twice. Simple things like body control with hand pressure where eventually there will be stirrup pressure, lateral flexion, dropping head and allowing a rope to pass over his ears, fingers in and around his mouth, picking up feet, lungeing at a walk, walking with me then being sent around objects and joining me to walk again, rope and saddle blanket over his back & falling to the ground. Seeing the saddle blanket draped out long on Pedro's back was very concerning! His eyes were huge. Following a feel exercise with rope around his opposite side, almost fouling his legs, searching for and finding the right answer.
He is very smart when he's free to explore the right and wrong answers without fear. It doesn't take many repetitions for him to have it down and be ready to move on. Except with his hooves. He is making slow progress there, but it is definite progress. He is still holding on to a lot of tension there. He knows that there is a right and a wrong answer, and neither is that big a deal, but one is easier. :)
This horse journey has been pretty painful these last few years since Tonka died. I had my reservations about Luc all along, even if he hadn't been lame. I'm sure we would have made things good in time, but our energy levels didn't match. And Jasper was certainly not the right fit. I really wanted Joseph to be the one but he never really wanted to be with people, which maybe would have been okay if he didn't have EPSM. Each of them broke my heart a little bit, and I wish I had made better choices. I guess choosing the wrong partners is one way to learn.
I don't claim to be, or want to be, a great horseman who can train any horse. I just want to have a great partnership with one horse, until death do us part.
Duncan just fits. He's like getting into warm, dry clothes after a day in cold water. If I can keep from screwing this up, it is going to be a long, slow, beautiful dance.
I'm afraid he might become entwined in my heartstrings as inextricably as Tonka was. Afraid, but also hopeful.