So today I saddled up Kiko because it was nice out, I figured we should ride since the footing was finally good and the weather was decent, it was time.
We got saddled up and did a few circles making sure he wasn’t super stiff or had any issues moving…I know horses get crazy in this weather so I just make sure he’s not tender from getting kicked or bitten in a way that would affect his movement. Kiko, as much as I love him is a instigator..he’s as close to wild as any domestic horse can be so he tends to always have bite and kick marks all over him even when he’s the dominant horse in the pasture like he is right now since Buddy and Bear are on slow feeding and Yankee is on medical leave…he kind of antagonizes other horses into playing even when they don’t want to…so a few walking and trotting circles in both directions is a must for him and I to make sure he’s not too messed up to be ride able.
He acted like the front of the barn was new…which it wasn’t but he hasn’t seen it in a few months so okay…I gave him some time to look around. I got up on him and we started riding up the driveway.
We stopped probably about 5 times up the driveway because of the wind…each time I just pet him, told him it was okay, made sure he was blinking and asked him forward. We got past the scary tarp covered trailer, the 4 dogs that were barking at him, the pond and the fire pit which he seemed very concerned about and were able to get up to the scary trees at the end of the driveway.
I asked him if he wanted to eat grass and he did…(It’s a rein trick I taught him so he knows he can eat if he wants) and he did.
However several times, he showed me he wanted to run back to the barn….
Now, I have to stop and say…I DO have a SUPERHORSE….5 years ago he took off on his rider and bolted to the barn with her on his back clinging on for dear life. 3 years later with me he slowly pretends like he’s going to bolt but doesn’t…meaning he snaps his head off and slowly moves his feet in line with the barn with the expression like “I’m Gonna!” I simply have to tell him “No, we aren’t going to bolt” tug on one reign to make sure he knows I mean we are staying here and he calms down. But he’s SURE to make sure I know that’s what he wants to do even though he’s too connected and concerned about the human on him to do it…which is amazing…I know, but I expect a little more out of him, and I think he knows that.
So we had some “discussions” ate some grass and started heading back.
Kiko’s trademark move is to trot back to the barn because he just can’t wait to be back with his buddies which makes me feel like ass so we do turns and work on slowing down etc.
He wanted to trot twice, I asked him to walk…on the second try he decided “Okay, I can still trot but at a walk pace…he was doing a piaffe in a trot but at a walk pace!
I found that so amusing, I had to laugh and tell him it was okay to do. I just thought, when I actually get around to training him in dressage, this will be VERY helpful!
As much as an irritation as it was to even have the same old “discussions” we needed to have today, knowing how much more he was already capable of…I donno, maybe that’s a habit I need to work on changing better, it was totally worth it to see how totally willing and concerned about me being on his back and seeing his improv on a “walk” back to the barn.
I feel very blessed and in awe of this superhorse I had the fate of meeting. Even when I get frustrated knowing what he’s capable of..I can’t take away from how wonderful he really is. I couldn’t have thought up a better horse. I never wanted a drone…you know, one of those horses that just follow direction with a dull look in their eyes. Some people say that’s the perfect horse but it’s not…having a horse that’s totally willing to let you know what they are feeling at any given moment is so much more rewarding and so much more educational.
I’m not worried he’s herd bound or barn sour…he gets over it every year very quickly and we are trail riding happily before we know it. I’m just appreciative that he’s willing to tell me when he’s feeling concerned even when I think it’s ridiculous so I can tell him I’m listening.
I’m positive this is why he watches out for me because he feels I listen to him too. It may seem daunting at times for me, it may seem like going backwards so some or being soft and yes, it does take longer…but you know what? I’m not afraid of him leaving me in the dust because we are partners…and he knows that too.