An update on Blue

Olympic Blue is one of the horses I’m taking to next year’s Thoroughbred Makeover Competition in Kentucky.  He’s now been in training with me for 6 weeks, here is an update on his training.

I’m very pleased with the progress that Blue is making.  He’s beginning to see me as a partner and less as his competition.  While he still has many moments of flipping me the middle hoof, they are less sneaky and subside quicker.

Check out this video of our latest round pen session .  While I’m by no means an expert in round penning techniques, I was able to accomplish many goals in this session.  Blue was honest with me about his emotions, and began to turn towards me instead of away from me.  He easily changed directions, and we ended up doing it calmly by the end.  We had been in the round pen for 15 minutes or so prior to this video, and by the end of the video he was with me enough to ride.

Blue’s focus is on me

So I got on, and worked on some of the rein yielding exercises that I did in my groundwork lesson with Ellen Eckstein.  Only now, I was cueing him from the saddle.  After we got a handle on those, I thought it would be good to go for our first trot.  However, someone had turned their fresh horse out in the adjoining round pen, and that was too much distraction for us.

So I headed into the arena, no luck there either.  There were two horses in there, one in the middle of a sprawling ground lesson, and the other galloping on the end of a longe line with her tail over her back.

So I took to plan C for my first trot with Blue… The parking lot.  We’ve had rain recently, and the edges of where I was riding were a bit softer.

My first trot with Blue

Blue was decent about going and stopping, but steering through a turn while trotting was pretty rough.

“ok Blue, time to turn right”
“for real, we don’t want to run into that tie  rail”“ok, so you have to walk in order to turn.  Got it.”

Blue felt pretty solid, but our next training efforts are going to be to put in the power steering.

All in all, I was quite pleased with today’s session.  We had some lovely moments stretching in both trot and walk.

Stretchy walk

Stretchy trot

And moment where Blue forgot how to horse.

I’m not familiar with this gait.