I was playing with Apocalipse the other day, or to be fair, I was training Tardis and Apocalipse had to show off. Tardis and I are training signals from the ground at the moment, because she feels too unsure of me to ride without a bridle and with the bridle, or a halter, she gets cross instantly. So, I am trying to figure out a way to get her motivated and to let her understand what it is that I want, without her feeling forced in anyway, because that breeds an instant negative response.
But, Apocalipse. He has always been awesome at playing, but now we have a fir tree on our pasture. Just lying there. I had to try and see if he would jump it, if I ran across it.
He did, without a seconds hesitation. I cannot begin to describe how awesome that is. To have a four year old horse, that follows you blindly like that… I am astounded by this young man.
And I know, it may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Saleem, for instance, dares not jump. Ablaze hardly bothers. With all my horses in the past, I doubt that I could have asked any of them to follow me across a tree like that, with no rope or halter or anything. Apocalipse sure has his mothers courage and her self esteem. He knows he can do anything he sets his mind to. I am over the moon, of having managed to raise him to believe that much in himself and in me.
The difference between him and his mother, is that she would have jumped too, without blinking, but not voluntarily. She never would have followed me like that. She would have needed at least a rope and a halter…
He is just so positive, and so inspiring to work with.
Saleem and I are doing a bit of playing these days as well, seeing as for the first time, he no longer stumbles when he walks, trots or canter. I am contributing that to having removed his shoes, after 7 years of failing to help make him surefooted any other way. Being bare footed sure seems to have made him aware of his legs and it is slowly giving him his confidence back. He is very happy at the moment, and very positive to work with as well, even if he dares not jump.
With Saleem, it is not that he doesn’t want to do as I ask, it is because he dares not. Saleem always want’s to. He want it so much, it is breaking his heart, if he can’t do what I ask of him, so I have to be careful not to ask something from him, that he is not ready for. Having him follow me on his own, without a halter, is huge for us. No head flicking, no stumbling, just a focused young man, following his silly little human around. I have waited for that, for 8 years…
Ablaze is unimpressed by the tree. He easily walks across it, but he can’t be bothered to jump it. It is just a tree… What’s the big deal?
Tardis is still at a state where she is being asked to turn and move with signals, rather than by her own free will entirely, but she is shaping up quite great now that I figured out to remove the halter. I get a much more positive attitude from her, this way.
And Marble. Marble is still wearing a halter, because she kicks. She is super fast, and if she explodes, she does so, in your direction.
Her aggressiveness is wearing off though, and she loves to play with us these days. As it turns out, her happiness is almost as dangerous as her anger, so for now, we still need the rope, to stay alive.
She is doing very great these days. I have to say, looking at the picture of her, and the pictures of Apocalipse, it displays a very clear difference in talent and technique.
Marble has technique. She is careful, she pulls her legs high up under her and makes sure not to touch the tree. She has talent too, no doubt about it, but she doesn’t jump with the same ease as Apocalipse.
Apocalipse has talent. He easily estimates the height and width of the obstacle and rather than pulling his legs up, he just jumps a little higher, because it comes so easily to him, and he doesn’t care to use the extra energy on being careful. He does not own the shadow of technique and he does not need it.
He is the king, and he knows it. Queen Amalia’s son.