The road to broke is paved with…goats?

(Disclaimer to save time: Yes, I am aware of my lack of a helmet 🙂 And the purple saddle is the only damn thing on the property that fits my wide load horse. And I am aware I am dressed like a homeless person. Yes, I have had the huge striped shirt since the 1980s and yes, I do think the blue fuzzy socks up to my knees above the filthy paddock boots are a nice touch. Hey, there was a person with a camera around and that is not always the case!)

All right, after skipping Thursday night because I had to run a three-hour errand, Friday night because I had a chance to work, and Saturday night because I was freakin’ exhausted after moving horses around all day, it was finally time to put ride #8 on the VLC. I had decided our goal for tonight was to add some trotting figure 8’s. He’s trotting fairly consistently with regard to speed and staying on the wall, but particularly to the left, he drops his shoulder and really careens around the turns.

My instincts tell me to just leave him alone. It’s only ride #8 and as he develops muscle and balance, a lot of this will fix itself. However, there’s this little voice that tells me a lot of trainers would be yelling at me and telling me to pick up his damn shoulder now. I am telling the little voice to STFU. He is young, he is huge, and he just needs mileage with as little interference from me as possible. He trots when I tell him to, walks when I tell him to, halts and stands when I tell him to. He figured out what we were doing with cutting through the middle and changing direction the second time I did it tonight. I’m happy.

It was getting dark and of course we were getting crappy pictures in the indoor, so we decided to take him outside for some new pics. I debated whether or not I was going to actually get on outside, and finally decided to do it and walk around.

My landlord likes to use his goats as lawnmowers. I didn’t notice this, because it was behind a horse trailer, but he had chained one to a tire (the usual method of goat restraint) in his backyard. Mr. Goat got wildly excited by the presence of a VLC in his driveway and bolted downhill, dragging the tire by the chain. It sounded like the Ghost of Christmas Past being chased by a crack-smoking goat. The VLC went “WTF is THAT?” and spooked.

And you know what? It was no big deal. He just ducked and scooted a bit. He stopped right away. He saw what it was. And he went right back to walking around like he was half asleep.

Mugwump wrote a great blog on the difference between being trained and broke. In answer to her question, I’ll take broke any day…and that’s why I’m going to be thrilled at how he dealt with the galloping goat incident and not give a crap if he’s dropping his shoulder to the left. I think we’d wind up with a lot better horses if we worried more about getting them going forward and seeing the world and less about fine-tuning them before they are ready.

How did everybody else’s weekend go? I need to get on the Small Spotted Gelding. I did get on my other friend’s Cute Spotted Stallion yesterday, on his 5th ride. He makes the VLC look rocket fueled. We are both so lucking out with our greenies this year!

Published in: on May 12, 2008 at 5:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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