I just have to toot Eagle's horn...truly, he is a rockstar of a horse. I've always known it, and he's proving me right. He and Rachel. So, I posted about our merry little adventure involving a freak storm and taking Eagle over to Rachel's last Thursday evening. Rather eventful, but we made it and all is well.
Friday, day one of his training Eagle got a morning session of ground work, put away for a few hours and his evening session consisted of walk, trot, canter, one-rein stops and backing. How's that for a first day? To say I was a little excited would be an understatement. I may have even cried a little. Yeah I know, but we're keepin' it real here. Rachel said other than a one-time kicking out when asked to canter, he did great. No buck, just kicked out.
Saturdays are Rachel's day off. Which meant Eagle had a day of rest as well. She says that he's very relaxed and seems content and happy in her barn. He's rather a social butterfly, sticks his head over the wall and knickers at everyone who comes and goes in the barn. Really nickers when it's supper time. :) That's my boy! He now has two other horses on one side of him, and one horse on his other side. He's even relaxed about the goats and the pot-bellied pig.
Sunday, day two. Another groundwork session and later in the day, more riding. This time involved same basic stuff, walk, trot, canter, one-rein stops and backing. When asked to canter, there was no kick out, but some hesitation, so he got a pop on his butt with the quirt. Eagle went into canter, no over-reaction at all. Rachel says that his biggest obstacle right now, is he tires easily. Understandable because he's a little "fluffy". He hasn't been ridden or conditioned much at all in almost 4 years, so this is to be expected. I've done lots and lots of groundwork with him, but never really worried about aerobics or conditioning, so his only real exercise consisted of being turned out in a 5 acre pasture all day, every day. And you know what horses do when turned out, right? Yeah, he grazed, trimmed bushes, ate plums and took naps. It's a rough life. But hey, you've heard the saying, "somebody's gotta do it", right? Well, that's our horses.
I don't really know what took place Monday and Tuesday, but today Rachel posted a video on my FB page. It read, "look what Eagle and I did today - nothing like real life experience to build some confidence". They went on a trail ride. Rachel wore her go-pro camera on her helmet, and they went alone. Up in the woods, through bushes, over logs and he looked relaxed and oh, so happy! I can't even tell you how happy he looked!! She said he had one very minor spook right at the beginning. One of those drop a few inches, expand your leg stance and look around things - you know the kind. That is awesome!! I can totally handle spooks like that - it's those whirl and bolt spooks that I don't like. She said that he was completely happy the whole time they were out there!! She says that he needs to look to his rider/handler for confidence, and that's why they went alone, I presume...I only wish I were as brave and confident as she is. We'll get there. I've always known in my heart that Eagle is a good horse. Now I'm finding out he's an amazing horse. I couldn't be happier! Rachel says that he is absolutely loving his lessons, which I always felt when I worked with him too, and he is mentally ready to learn so much more. I am just so glad that I trusted my gut until I felt that he was ready for more. He is not the same horse that he was when I got him...he's come so very far and he will just keep getting better. I could just bust!!
If I can figure out how to post that video here, I will. I'm just not very techy and have so much trouble with that kind of thing. But if I can, I will post it...I've already watched it three times. :)
This Sunday afternoon will be my first lesson with Rachel. I have no idea what she's got in store for me, but I'm sure it's going to push me outside my comfort zone. Ready or not, here I go! Wish me luck huh - better yet, I'd appreciate prayers for confidence and relaxation. I need all the help I can get! :)
Oh, and we had a very nice time on our camping trip. No vehicle problems, no storms and beautiful sunshine all the time. Lots of good fellowship, campfires, food and horses. What could be better? I'll tell you what would have been better. We left our horses at home because we got spooked about the weather forecast...buggars! Having our horses there and going on trail rides would have made the weekend perfect!! Oh well, next time.
That's about it for now, I'll keep you posted about my amazing, Eagle - the ROCKSTAR!!