I pretty much have everyone worked into the program at this point. I'm still not getting every horse worked every day, but pretty close. I have been staying pretty steady with Moon, Frosty and The Big Bay. It's back to ground work with The Big Bay. I got 3 rides on him and I could tell on the 3rd ride that he was starting to frazzle. I can honestly say, I can't ever remember working with a horse with as much insecurity as the Big Bay has. There is an undeniable link between his physical and mental state. It's sort of like what Frosty went through before I discovered his IR problems. So I am working through The Big Bay's issues the same way I got Frosty through his. Controlled ground work. They can't get stronger if you don't work them through the pain/stress, but I feel no need to be in the middle of their backs when their mental state is struggling.
Shooter is coming along. He took a couple of jumps with me the other day in the round pen. It was like riding a rocking horse. It made me laugh. I think he really had to work to bring his energy level up enough to even accomplish that. He's more of a sulker than an activist. LMAO.
Beretta is in the mix. Ponied her in the desert these last 2 days and she enjoyed that. I don't ever remember ponying her before, but I maybe have. She was as good as gold and didn't even mind being saddled today. I used a pad, not the blanket that angered her. LOL
I started alternating Buddy and Belle. Belle is just 2 and knows n.o.t.h.i.n.g., so I start where I always do...with Showmanship skills. In fact, I have been using Showmanship training on both Belle and The Big Bay. It's such a good way to build confidence in horses, teaches them how control their minds and use their feet in a controlled manner. I had left Buddy alone for a little while, hoping he would start gaining weight again. He fell off a little in that week I had to turn him out to pasture with the whole gang. He's gaining again, but not filling out. Seems it's all going to his belly. So I think regular exercise is important for him.
And, I've finally gotten started on Little John....
I know why I leave my favorites til last...I'm always afraid I will enjoy them so much that I won't bother working with the other ones. ;-). It's impossible not to love this little horse. It's been far too long since I have had a problem free project horse. He's not spoiled, he's not unsound and he's not injured in any way. Not to mention that he craves human interaction. He's just a happy, confident, well-adjusted little horse with loads and loads of potential.
I have to laugh at the irony of the situation though...The two horses that have the most potential to replace Moon are Shooter and Little John. Talk about 2 ends of the spectrum. Shooter is long-bodied, long-necked, tall and low, low energy. LJ is short-coupled, short-necked, on the smaller side and is quick and eager. I couldn't have ended up with 2 more completely opposite types of horses if I had tried. I have absolutely no idea how this is going to work out. LOL