Well, the weather has been brutal (and my school schedule has also been brutal with finals starting this week) so I haven't been riding Cruizer much. The last time I rode him he gave me an AWESOME ride. It was really the first time since going barefoot that I've asked him to perform with his head level and do some proper hunter under saddle work. He was a bit disappointed at first at having to actually WORK but he finally buckled down and gave me an AMAZING ride. He felt so sound and was pretty quiet (for him being in the winter in the scary indoor with snow falling off the roof). He attempted a mini bolt once but stopped right away. It's nice to have a WHOA now. I wasn't planning on cantering just because he hadn't been worked and I haven't cantered him much in the indoor because he's always so nervous in there. But, I decided to give it a shot. He started out great, and after getting him to settle he really relaxed and started slowing his legs down but lengthening his stride, and had his head level and relaxed the whole time. However, for some reason, the third time I went to do a canter circle on half the arena, he resorted to his old tricks and at the last part of the turn spun and cantered the opposite direction. Now. We have argued about this MANY times. Mostly because he just gets it in his head that he doesn't have to circle because its harder than going straight and blah blah. I pulled him back around, never letting him turn the way he wanted to, and cantered off. And attempted the circle about four more times, with the same result, him spinning out. The fifth time he stopped right on the rail. I reached forward on the left rein and pulled him around, which meant he whacked his head on the wall (he was completely on the rail trying to turn, with his front legs touching the wall. I guess the knock in the head did it though, because the next time we came around he kept cantering. He slowed down to a teeny tiny little crawling lope and swung his tail around and snorted and wasn't happy about it, but he did it. After he cantered three more nice circles I let him canter all the way around and then we were done. He was pretty tired. I don't know why this horse still tests the circle thing, other than being a punky teenager. You would think though after almost two years together he would have figured out that he will NEVER win a battle with me, and his life is made much easier if he cooperates. Oh well, no harm done.
He has taken up one super adorable behavior. Whenever he is turned loose in the indoor he climbs up onto the bridge and looks at me with that :CAN I PLEASEE HAVE A COOKIE LOOK IM SUCH A GOOD BOY face. Its SO cute. I cannot resist.
He still remembers how to turn on the forehand and sort of sidepass, so this winter our goal is gonna be to get the pattern stuff down. Sidepassing, turns on the forehand, pivots under saddle, and finish his pull turn for showmanship. His showmanship is really good right now. He will back straight, or in any pattern I want, with speed. If we can get the equitation stuff down this winter, we will be set to go for show season.
This coming show season I am planning to show as much as possible, because I know when I move to Findlay I'm not going to be able to show him all that much. That time will be focused on teaching him new events and having FUN. I am signing up for my state's Quarter Horse show program, so hopefully we can rack up some points and get some year end awards. Hopefully.
His little hooves are looking better and better. The damaged hoof from the toe clips is coming off, his frog is growing, and his feet are getting stronger. I hope that this means he can stay barefoot for life now.
My long term showing goal for Cruizer is to go for the Novice Amateur All Around title at Quarter Horse congress. He is definitely versatile enough to do multiple events for it. Its a big dream, but I think we can do it, eventually.
Other goals for him include riding on the beach, galloping in an open field, swimming, and possibly.. hopefully... I'd LOVE to work cows off of him someday. Hopefully he likes cows. Its in his blood!
Oh, and his blanket from last year is snug on him this year. When will this horse stop growing?