My intention isn't to mislead... rather, I just prefer to dwell on the fun happy exciting stuff rather than the "Dear god what have I done?!" stuff. You know how it goes.
|it was so freakin nice out i hustled up on some work to get to the barn early - to ride outside in DAYLIGHT|
Charlie is defensive and resistant to being driven forward.
|we hacked around a couple new lanes too. charlie lives in the field to the right so it's not like, unknown territory. still nice to ride on tho! except for some weird trench right down the center of the lane filled with holes. lame.|
A brief background: Charlie was born in April 2009 in Kentucky. His dam, Shahalo (by Halo) had produced top of the line kind of race horses, including some graded stakes winners, and Charlie sold at auction as a yearling for $100K.
|the end of the lane has fun little cross rail fence stiles too! we just walked back and forth over this low part lol|
While at Fair Grounds as a 3yo with his first trainers, Charlie raced twice - once for a $50K claiming price in a race where he was the favorite. He was in the lead coming to the home stretch, but suddenly backed off to lose by 30 lengths.
|lotsa wanderin around the property!|
This hypothesis was further supported after CR and a partnership of owners (who have also been wonderful to speak with!) claimed Charlie from Fair Grounds sight unseen, on the strength of his racing form and pedigree. The first time they got him up to the track to train, Charlie simply refused to go. Stuck his head straight up in the air and said "NO!"
|interrupting my photo recap of our hack-about with breaking news: we've definitely seen that "NO!" face before!!|
CR believes Charlie likely experienced collapsed lungs and/or bleeds while training and racing. To him, this would have felt like he was suffocating. And it had maybe been going on for a while. His first trainers weren't necessarily negligent - they had very expensive veterinary workups done at Purdue University and again in Kentucky, but with no findings. CR thinks they must not have scoped him.
After recovering from surgery, Charlie's new team took their time bringing him back slowly and helping him build confidence in his breathing again. And he went on to race successfully with them for four years.
|the into the outdoor arena for the first time in AGES.... where charlie was decidedly less than thrilled to find himself. c'mon bro, surely this must be better than the narrow indoor??|
His successful career with CR and crew suggests this resistance isn't insurmountable tho. Plus CR's philosophy of patience and slow, methodical confidence building aligns well with my own approach.
But it's a fairly entrenched behavior. Just plain getting after Charlie and beating on him isn't the answer, either. He's been there, done that, and is willing to go there again if he has to.
|sad boy in his muscle shirt!!|
Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill tho. It feels like the kind of behavior that could easily turn into "can't get the horse into the start box" or "eliminated for disobedience in the dressage ring." But it could also just be growing pains. Only time will tell!
|one result from my chat with trainer P last weekend. she's always full of cost-saving tips, esp surrounding supplements. but she swears by this particularl supplement - platinum performance. some call it 'expensive flax' but idk. i'm gonna give it a shot on the strength of P's recommendation. will likely have more to say later!|
If he learns that sometimes leg matters and sometimes it doesn't.... I'm just setting myself up for a bigger fight down the road.
So. My pep talk to myself: Discipline, Emma. Consistency. Say what you mean, mean what you say... all that stuff. Do not shy away from correcting the small stuff. A well-timed, appropriately-volumed correction for a smaller indiscretion will likely be enough to prevent a full blown fight. But, no matter what, be prepared to see the conversation through to resolution: GO FORWARD.
|i'm also introducing a third meal to charlie's diet - a post ride mash of beet pulp pellets. so far he's a fan!! now if he would just get fat plz!!|
Have you ever let a horse get your number and then had to deal with the repercussions? Or do you have little pep talks with yourself when you know something is going to be a fight but you have to deal with it anyway?
Or have you ever learned something about your horse's past that suddenly explains a perplexing behavior or persistent habit? I'm kinda hoping I'm not the only one haha!