Jasper had a coupe of weeks off. I was so worried about his stifles after the show, and then a bunch of shite and stress at work kept me away from the horses, so it wasn't until Monday that he got ridden since the last horse show.
I actually lunged him in the round pen before I got on for the first time. He cantered the whole time. Every time I asked him to switch directions he threw his chest into the fence and made loud crashing noises. Sigh.
I took him to the arena in a western saddle. He let me get on. I asked him to go and he went straight into death trot. Right on the very edge of canter. I let the reins loose and when he did break into a canter did a one-rein stop into the arena fence. He must have death trotted for at least 20 minutes. Both directions, circles, serpentines, breaking into canter, and stopping. It was like he just couldn't contain himself. When he finally broke into a somewhat normal trot he got lots of praise and I got off.
The next day was much the same, but when he finally calmed down to a normal working trot I asked for canter. I kept the reins loose but half-halted in the corners where he scrambles and speeds up. The canter wasn't bad.
Yesterday I got on and he just stood there. Poked around at the walk. Trotted so slowly he broke into the walk a couple of times. Cantered around a lot, because I wanted him to go on the trail with the other horses. All on a loose rein. He chose to lead the trail ride- through the hay fields and forest. He went last through the marshy area where the grass is taller than he is, but he went. Walked on a lose rein the whole way. Walked over the ditch. I couldn't have been happier.
Then today we decided to head straight for the trails and skip the arena. He led the ride again, but we extended the ride by quite a bit. He led the way through the marshy area, and we all decided to trot up the sloping hay field. He went in a nice medium trot on a loose rein with 3 horses behind him. I got him to trot over and kind of jump the ditch. It was our best ride yet.
AND when we got back to the arena there was a giant folded up hay tarp on the ground. Rooster picked his feet up and walked right over it. Moose walked over it and flattened it down some. Then the other baby horse Porsche walked over it and we were all amazed. I decided Jasper needed to stand next to it as the horses walked over it so he could hear it and see it. To my complete bafflement he reached down and started licking it. Then he tried to grab it with his teeth and it moved and scared him. This is the horse that broke my finger over a tarp issue. In the end, baby J walked over the big grey tarp. Three times. I don't get it- but I'll take it!!!