Just a quick visit to the horses today. They are having an exceptional few days out 24/7 so I feel slightly less guilty about not being able to do much with them. Today was a very sore day for me today so I conceded just to do something with Jazz. Only Jazz today, as he had a day off yesterday.
What made today unusual was he appeared to be quite fresh and full of trot. Now I don’t particularly mind at all. I am a skilled enough rider to cope with a fast trot and a to manage some spooking. But it was usual for him because his normal state is obediently forward but not too much. Almost a perfect balance of whoa and go naturally which I have found quite rare in a horse. They tend to be one or the other, or if you happen to come across one who tends to switch through both it can be challenging for many reasons. Today he had more go. Something which given my chosen career path with him, is good to see he has some spirit… but not too much!
I can happily deal with my 14.2’s behaving less favourably and much more confidant sorting them out. Not so happy with my tall 16.0/16.1 guy doing the same. However I found it interesting to see him that way. I imagined what strategies I would employ if I was in that situation whilst riding him. I have stopped thinking of him being ‘so big’ as an issue, despite every other person on the farm telling me how big he is whenever they see him – maybe they are just used to seeing me on my ponies and Jazz is quite a comparison. I chose Jazz because of his extraordinarily good, calm and trainable nature. I trust the people who sold him to me and I have seen an awful lot of him between 1st August and now to believe they were correct.
Anyway, I worked him for a good 20 minutes when he settled and connected to me better. Then stopped after I was sure of a good connection and left the round pen. Strange maybe to some but I want him to realise the sooner he becomes calm, connected and responsive; the sooner good things happen and the pressure is off. I came home and immediately looked up some videos and information on the Parelli website with my thoughts fresh in my mind of how to achieve such behaviour quicker without making him feel wrong and knocking his confidence which by nature being (what I think and am working out…) the horsenality he is.
At the moment I am thinking he is Right Brain Introvert, similar to Storm but Storm is in comparasion MUCH more sensitive and forward going with much more of a inclination to panic and shoot forwards whilst being more hyper aware of everything around him; tendencies more common in Right Brain Extroverts. I think Storm has a higher spirit level than Jazzy too. I prefer it that way round, as I said before, Storm is 14.2hh and therefore more manageable to all 5’1″ of me.
The point was we ended well and every day I am working on Jazz building a bond, a relationship and a connection with me. If he starts to pay attention to me more he will get curious about me. If he becomes curious about me he will build confidence round me. If he is confidant around me he will become calm. When he has calmness we can build on our connection and understanding which will lead to no stress in training and progression.
The 4 C’s. Curiosity. Confidence. Calmness. Connection. I believe are essential to a good relationship with your horse.
Jazzy at the end of our session where he became more connected and wanted to come and visit me in the middle.
P.S. I am biased but he’s so pretty 😀