Silky smooth and creamy like butter is how Eagle took to Rachel last night. I am so relieved, and reassured that this is a good match. I am simply smiling all the way down to my toes!
For me, I was completely relaxed and comfortable talking with Rachel, kinda like Eagle's response to her. Even Ruby liked her! This from a dog who I can hardly force to come with me and spend time in the barn when the horses are around...I kept having to shoosh her out of the round pen and out of harms' way. After numerous attempts, I just gave in and let Ruby lie at Rachel's feet while we had our discussion. A good sign, I'd say.
Rachel arrived right on time, and she brought a copy of her training agreement with her. We read over the details and everything is in order there. Then she wanted to watch what Eags and I have been working on. She said that everything that I've been doing is just what she does, maybe a few cue differences, and will prove very helpful with moving forward. We both agree that everything that we do on the ground directly translates to what we'll be doing from his back. She said she was very impressed with how far along he is and she totally agrees that he's ready for that next step. I'm relieved to hear her say that because I was sure hoping she didn't feel it necessary to spend lots of time doing groundwork when I can easily do that...that's almost all we've done for 3-1/2 years, so I was encouraged that what we've done has been perfect according to her. Sure made me feel good! Rachel thinks that a couple of sessions on the ground should be adequate and move forward from there. At her place, she has access to miles of woodland trails, an obstacle course that she's set up in the forest, an outside arena and a round pen. Lots of variety will be included, with other riders on horses and lots of alone time too. I certainly can't ask for more than that.
She also mentioned that based on our initial discussion about Eagle, she didn't imagine such a quiet, self-assured and totally content horse that seems to really enjoy his time spent with me. Wow, that really made me feel good. First thing out of her mouth was, wow what a handsome, stout boy he is. Nice horse! I'm a total sucker for someone who likes my horse! But then again, Eagle seems to schmooze every single gal he meets! He's proving to be quite the lady's man...
Then it was Rachel's turn to work with him a little bit. I stood on the sidelines and just quietly watched as my horse did every little thing that was asked of him, with a quiet and dignified acceptance. Lots of soft eye, lip-licking and gentle chewing...sweet. This horse wants to please and has so much heart, he just made me feel so darn proud of him! It is so nice to have reassurance that my instincts are right on in this situation. He's a really good horse, and I cannot wait to watch him blossom even more. I'm really looking forward to Rachel working with us, and will continue to spend time with my boy until he goes off to school in a few, short weeks. Included in our agreement is a weekly lesson for me to be directly involved. I can't wait!!
Just the thought of him going away and not seeing that horse every evening when I get home makes me already miss him... *sigh*
Feeling blessed, happy and oh, so excited!