Getting to know Jupiter has been a pleasurable experience. Beginning his training journey here was not starting from scratch — he had some experience being saddled and ridden in the past — and while that doesn’t always mean that things will be easy (often it means the opposite) it did give us some sort of foundation to build upon.

One of the first things we noticed about Jupiter was that on the ground he was quite ‘dull.’ Think accelerating in a Prius, when the ideal is something more akin to the feather-light gas pedal of a Ferrari. This is remedied by rewarding the try (to continue the metaphor, taking your foot off the gas pedal once the car does accelerate). Oh, if only my Prius could learn how to be more like a sports car! By asking Jupiter to yield his hind in a timely fashion or move up from the walk to the trot, and releasing him once he does so with a good amount of effort, Jupiter learns how to seek that release and becomes quicker to respond to the ask the next time. In the saddle, he has a bit of the opposite problem — he is too keen to move out, but in a mindless way that doesn’t take into consideration what his rider is asking of him. Through patience and continued practice, Jupiter is learning to understand a bit more day by day.

From Lexee N, who has been working and riding Jupiter for the last few months:

He’s been great to ride. I’m working on having him feel of me and not try to perform a pattern (since he was trained on barrels in the past). He gets confused about the right answer, but he has a ton of try. We’ve been working on a nice slow lope and jog as he has been very rushed. But he is learning what a release means, and understanding there are new answers to the questions being asked of him.

On the ground he can still be pushy, but it’s clear he doesn’t have his heart in it. It will just take some extra time to get him life on the ground but luckily in the saddle he has remained lively.”

Here is a video of one of Jupiter’s more recent rides: