There are time in life when you hope you are wrong. And there are times in life when being wrong can just make you happier than all get out!
When I bred my black mare, Queenie to a friend of the family's stallion(Sun Frost/Doc's Decatholon/Depth Charge/Tuffernhel/Sugar Bars) years ago, I was hoping to "up" the speed limit on the resulting foal.
When my dear, sweet Frosty was a youngster, there was a glimmer of speed to him. I wasn't around him from the time he was weaned until I hauled him to Arizona as a 3y/o. I saw him exactly 3 times in those 3 years. Once as a gangly yearling. Once as an awkward 2y/o and then when I went to pick him up. He had turned into a big honking boy by then.
My mom and step-dad had told me many times how he could stretch out and outrun the other horses in the pasture. And that he just looked like he floated.
Needless to say, I was rather disappointed when I got him to Arizona and all he ever seemed to do was plunk around. Moving fast just wasn't in his vocabulary. Although he has always been an eyecatching, big, solid horse, nothing really jumped out at me to make me think he was special.
Okay, I'll be completely honest...I thought the horse was as dumb as a box of hair!
I didn't get around to starting him until he was four. But, I have to say, he was incredibly sweet and to this day has never bucked with me on him. Nothing ever really seems to bother him. He looks everything over very carefully and then proceeds on without so much as a second thought to whatever he was checking out. Sounds wonderful right?
Wonderful up until the point when I really started to believe that he had absolutely NO speed to him whatsoever. How disappointing. My carefully crafted breeding program...and I end up with a total dud.
So my dear, sweet Frosty, big, pretty boy that he is...has been on the back burner for the last few years. He's 7 now and I finally decided this spring, I HAD to get something done with him. He is way to nice to just let go to waste...even if he is as slow as a turtle.
Surely he would make a cute Western Pleasure horse...right? Reining? Maybe a rope horse? S.o.m.t.h.i.n.g!
So anyway, I have been putting as many rides on Frosty as I can. We are working on circles and bending/flexing, moving off of leg, leads and traveling straight lines...all the stuff that any horse needs to learn.
Have I mentioned how sweet this horse is?
Oh yea, several times. Really, he is probably one of the kindest horses I have ever raised. I don't usually "do" kind and sweet. I like 'em with attitude and issues.
As I have been riding him, I have started to figure out a few things about him though. He is not as dumb as I thought he was. If he was dumb, he would not have retained the things he has from the 10 or so rides I put on him last year, the 10 or so rides I put on him the year before and the 10 or so rides he had from the year before. I've actually ridden horses who have tons more time spent on them and aren't as docile and willing as Frosty. So I was wrong about him being one step above retarded.
And today, it dawned on me that I was wrong about him not having any speed as well.
I have been working on getting him to move out. Irregardless of what direction I decided to go with him, he had to learn to get some extension. Getting him to lope is just as much a workout for me as it is for him. But he is getting there. He is figuring out how to trot o.u.t and how to pick up a lope, in the correct lead. I have been pushing him to stretch that lope out.
This morning, I "helped" him lope off with a kiss and a firm swat on his butt with the end of my rein.
Bubba can leave when he wants too!
He dug in and for a second I think he actually thought about humping up, but he took off like a shot. I let him go. Really, this is a lazy horse. I knew he wasn't gonna run very fast for very far. Sure enough, about the length of the arena and he slowed down. We loped around for a little bit that direction. Stopped and walked until he caught his air.
Oh yea, one other thing I haven't mentioned...this horse can S.T.O.P!! He loves "the stop".
We trotted a few circles and went the other way, I kissed and before I could even swat his butt, he was out of there like a shot again.
COOL! I think he has way more going for him than I gave him credit for.
Besides being sweet-LOL!