We are still working on building the foundation that will support all of his future training. So often these days, people talk about how much they have the horse doing in the first month or two. Jumping, showing and the like. Yes, these are incredible, generous horses and they are likely to give you way more than they are prepared to at any time, but should you be asking them?
If a horse is prepared physically and mentally for a new task, he is never over faced and gains confidence not only in himself, but in the humans who lead him. Most of the things we ask horses to do make no sense to them in their world. We owe it to them to prepare them for that which their nature does not.
Taking the time to develop them physically means never having to say you’re sorry. You can’t go back once you’ve asked too much and done damage. You only have to repair it the best you can, step back to a time when the horse was well within himself and move cautiously forward with the hope you will not push too hard again.
I’ve been reading with much joy a series of posts by Denny Emerson on FB. You should check them out. He talks about how much can be done at the walk and how positive it is mentally and physcially for the horse. He ponders the good that hacking and long walks do for the young horse and his future.
When I read posts about how much a horse had done in the first 30, 60 or 90 days – and it seems to me no time was devoted to putting a bottom on the horse or preparing him for this new job , I wonder where he will be one, two or three years down the road