Well, I really had to stop and think. I'm not sure where the year went but 2013 is coming to a close.
Steele is now officially 3 years old. He's just over 15'2 which is the same size Irish was when I bought him at 3. I can really see the mature horse that he's becoming. I haven't backed him yet despite getting lots of advice that I should start him. In the end I decided not to because he just didn't seem mentally ready. I have to say that I'm happy with that decision. But that doesn't mean that we didn't do anything this year. I sat down and tallied up the list of where Steele and I are at in his training:
- he will stand still in the cross ties while being groomed and worked with. He seldom paws now but stands quietly and respectfully.
- He lifts his feet easily- I run my hand down his leg and saw 'foot' and he lifts his foot and places it in my hand. He sometimes get a little antsy if he thinks that I'm holding it too long but corrects easily.
- He can be easily caught in the field and haltered.
- He leads quietly beside me and does not pull on the line even when spooking. He sometimes tries to get the grass but is easily corrected
- He opens his mouth for the bit
- He's worn a saddle and has had weight across it, does not spook when the stirrup leathers flap around him. He tolerates weight being placed in either stirrup
- he lunges fairly well, reaches into side reins.
- He understands the basics of steering with the ground driving. We've had a couple discussions about steering but I made sure to win.
- He's been led all over the property including down the road and has helped me to get the mail.
- He will stand tied while being bathed
- he is respectful of personal space
- we started some liberty work - he will follow, back up, turn and trot over ground poles without a lead line.
So my plans for 2014:
- we won't be working on driving/lunging because the weather is too harsh. But I think that the time off is good for him as well.
- I will continue to work on ground manners
- Get a saddle fitting so that...
- he can be backed come spring. I want to find a trainer that can come here rather than send him away for 30 days.
- teach him to self load
- take him off site so he can experience work in other locations
I hope that everyone has a prosperous, healthy and happy New Year.
See you next year!
|c'mon Irish, give me a kiss, it's New Year's Eve!|