Let’s have a few pictures of my beautiful four year old Tardis.
We don’t have many, (and the light was a bit tricky that day,) because I am only just breaking her in, we don’t work that long, and she still have a four month old foal at her side. Ablaze is awesome at helping me…
This is, I think, the fourth time I’m riding her and it is the first time I don’t have my boyfriend walk in front of her, to show her the way. So here we are, my pony and I, without help! (Except for from Ablaze of course, but the photographer didn’t manage to get him in the frame much, which is rather impressive, as he was there the entire time…)
Marble does show up and poke us a little in the end, but Saleem and Apocalipse were nicely staying out of it. (They are the reason I have the whip with me, I need it to kindly tell them to bugger off when they show up and bite her tail. Breaking in a four year old with a foal, in the middle of a pasture is interesting enough. No need to have the gang, well, gang up on her…)
And a few pictures of Saleem, he is saying that it was very slippery that day, with all the rain we had got the night before, so he is his old, careful self, not daring to move too fast.
Still, he is doing pretty good these days. I know you can’t see it on the pictures, but this day he was actually very shaky with his head, compared to what he has been for the last month. It’s nice to see how good he is working, despite his restless head and the slippery ground.
We sure have come a long way since we started up this spring.
Sometimes, I must be honest, I wish that we had got a little longer. I would have wanted the canter to work out by now, and it does, almost. It’s still a bit unbalanced the left way around. I would have liked that to be better by fall. And it is. Much better than when we started, but not as good as I had hoped it would be.
Saleem is turning out to be quite a challenge. I mean, riding Tardis, for the first time on my own, she is responding to my legs, she is even giving me a hint of what I have been looking to install in Saleem all summer. Balance, flexibility and attention.
And of course, Saleem is much better, by now, but it has taken us a year to get here. I am pretty sure that once I start up Tardis, I can get her to where Saleem is now, in a month, two tops.
Not that she is a better horse. In some ways, yes she is, simply because she has the one thing Saleem has always been lacking. Focus.
Saleem drifts of in a matter of seconds, if I am not correcting him constantly, he forgets I’m there and becomes surprised and shakes his head when I suddenly ask him to do something. His attention span is so brief.
One thing I am really happy about with Saleem, (other than his wonderful persona, his calm and easy going nature, his curiosity and his trust in this world,) is that when it comes to jumping, he has got focus and he stays with me. Which leads me to believe that maybe I just need to make dressage interesting for him to focus on it. Or, maybe it needs to be a tiny bit difficult, for him to pay attention. Or, he could simply just not be that much into the whole dressage thing.
Which is okay with me. I don’t need a dressage horse. But I do need all of my horses to know dressage, after all, that is how you build up a good, lasting, strong show jumper. Dressage is how you train the tendons and muscles… no getting around that. If you look at the pictures of Tardis, you will see her “cow-like” ass. She doesn’t have a single muscle anywhere, that will enable her to carry herself correctly. Compare her to Saleem’s (by now) smooth and round ass, and I must say, he looked like Tardis last year. We must be doing something right, even if it feels a bit like we are going nowhere once in a while. We sure have come a long way, as far as building the right kind of muscles on Saleem.
Which were my plans for this year. Build him up, get his headshaking under control, try jumping a bit, work out the canter, and do a few shows with him. To be honest, we have done all that, looking back on the summer. He has been brilliant.
So I guess that what I am really missing is not Saleem, learning faster. It’s Apollon, and all the things we could do. I’ve always been an ungrateful bastard, never happy with just one “working” horse. I need change, diversity, otherwise, I am clearly as unfocused as Saleem.
You know what they say, like horse, like owner…