I have to say that today was really amazing, both for me and for Monarch. We’ve been together just one month now, and we haven’t had that much time to work together because it was so cold just after he arrived. But we seem to be making up for lost time now.
Today was the first day that I was really “alone” with Monarch, without you standing by ready to jump in and help if I lost confidence or he started acting silly. Not that he ever was a crazy horse, but he did have his moments, so I was always glad to have a more experienced person around when I was working with him. But I got him out of the paddock on my own today, put him in the wash rack, groomed him, and took him up to the arena to loose lunge him. He was a perfect gentleman the whole time, which increased my confidence immensely.
I notice now that, when he’s in the arena, he doesn’t just trot and run around randomly. He pays attention to me, and he knows what I want him to do. Instead of showing me his butt when he stops, he turns around to face me, with his ears forward as if he’s asking, ‘Okay, Mom, what do you want me to do now?” I get a lot of that licking and chewing behavior, too, that tells me he’s relaxed and happy, which is just how I want him to be.
I am also very, very impressed by how quickly he’s learned to “join up.” Remember that day when I chased him all over the arena, trying to get him to do the join-up? That day, I thought he’d never learn it! But here it is, just a couple of weeks — and only maybe five workouts — later, and he’s got it totally figured out! I got him to join up and follow me all the way across the arena today, and I was rolling the Perelli ball in front of me at the same time, and even that didn’t bother him. He truly is amazing. Very smart, and very sweet, just like his trainer at the track said he was.
I also am quite impressed that he knows my car now. Can you believe that? Today, when I was opening the gate at the top of the driveway, I heard him whinny, and when I looked over to his paddock he was running back and forth by the gate, all excited. He definitely knew it was me, the Carrot Lady — er, I mean, his Mom. Right. It’s not just about the carrots. He loves me for myself, right? hahaha
So you definitely matched me with the right horse! I know there are days when I have doubts about my ability to train such a young horse, but when we have days like today, those doubts fade and I’m just incredibly happy that Monarch and I found each other.