It never fails, I get one horse 'fixed' and another one falls apart at the seams. LOL.
Ah well...such is life.
Right now my darling little redheaded fireball is having a full on 'baby horse' meltdown....
Poor Little John. I think he finally realized that he is not just having a bad dream. This really is his life now. It is causing him great anxiety.
Truth is, I have been very surprised by how well LJ has taken everything in since I got him. He's a quick learner and eager to please. But I wasn't holding my breath that it would last. LJ has a few strikes against him, no matter how smart or eager he is;
#1-He had NO life experiences when I bought him. He had never been off of the property he was born on and no matter how busy with activity that place was, it was still home and he was comfortable there.
#2-He was started and trained in typical show-horse fashion. His every moment was dictated to him when he was being handled and no aberrations are allowed.
#3-He's a baby!! Okay...so technically, he's a coming 4y/o...but he's still a baby and babies go through this.
None of these things are bbaaadddd things. I knew these things when I bought him and I was prepared for what is happening to happen.
LJ is having some real separation anxiety issues. Even when tied to the trailer, with all of the other horses in full view, he still cries, and paws, and paces....For h.o.u.r.s!!! (Where's my ear plugs?) When I pony him, I have to put protective boots on the pony horse because LJ is so insecure he is walking on the horse I am riding. I'm constantly kicking him off of my leg and forcing him to track off to the side.
LJ is coming 'unbroke'. LJ has a great foundation on him. He was taught a lot of very special maneuvers at a very young age. But riding time was training time. Period!! LJ knew nothing about just being ridden. He's exceptionally well-trained...And barely 'broke'. Does that make sense? It's a very common phenomena with young show trained horses. Let me tell you what...When some of these show-trained horses start having to think for themselves, they are far scarier to ride than something like Jet (aka The Big Bay). You think you are riding a 'broke' horse and as they come unwound from their dictated to frame of mind...They get kinda crazy. They get to looking around, gawking at things, forget to pick up their feet...then they suddenly remember they are not supposed to do that and they slam back into show horse frame. LOL. They are just all over the board. They are like Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde.
And then there is the age thing. However, LJ actually is more like a 2y/o than the coming 4y/o he really is. He's mentally regressed due to all of the unfamiliar things in this life he found himself thrown into.
So what am I going to do about all of this?
Not a damn thing!!!!
Little John is just going through a phase. I've seen this happen to World Champion show horses when they suddenly have a life outside of the show ring and they just have to go through it. I remember the first time my grandpa left the ranch house to check cows on a mare my dad insisted he ride that day. This mare had been to the AQHA Congress show, won the Cow Palace (as a halter horse) and qualified for the AQHA World in a couple of events, besides halter...and my grandpa LED her home. That mare came unhinged out in the open. The waving grass terrified her. The cows terrified her. Having to cross an actual creek terrified her. The sheer openness of the country terrified her. Grandpa was in his 70's and after a couple of hours of that crap, he just got off and led the goofy hag home, handed the reins to my dad, got in his truck and went to town. The next week he went and bought a ranch-raised horse to ride. LOL.
Of course, that mare, and all of the other show horses eventually got used to being ranch horses. They didn't all make GOOD ranch horses, but most of them turned out okay. But it was a real eye-opener to me. I realized at a young age that it's far easier to take a ranch horse to town than it is to take a show horse to the ranch. And that is why I am so adamant about my horses learning how to ride out in the open LONG before I ever start doing much specialized training. It's way easier to put specialized training on a broke horse than it is to take a specialty trained horse and turn them into a 'broke' horse.
I was really hoping to have LJ ready for the Dick Pieper clinic in April, but at this point, he hasn't even seen cattle yet and trail obstacles?...Bwahahahaha...We are still working on walking over a single pole or walking through a parallel set of poles.
But it's no big deal. I have Frosty and Moon as back-ups if LJ hasn't regained his mind by then. He'll still be suitable for the reining portion of the clinic and in the grand scheme of things it will just add to his life experiences. My main goal is just to have him pretty well 'broke' and patterned up on the barrels in the time we have left here in Arizona. Where the heck did the time go?...It's only 2 months until I go back to Colorado. I don't anticipate 'running' LJ much at all this summer. He's only 4 and I don't want much more out of him than a nice loping pattern. By the time that happens I should have a feel for how much speed he really has. It's hard to tell yet because he really doesn't know how to even move out in an extended manner yet. His long-trot is not a long-trot at all, it's just a really fast trot and his lope is either super controlled or on the verge of being out of control, there is no stretchiness to it at all. Hahahaha...I feel like I am riding a pogo stick compared to my other horses.
The only thing I wished he would get over quickly is that damn 'yelling'. Oiy Vey is he a noisy little thing. :-/