One week under saddle and Owen is making astounding progress with trainer Matt Olson. Check out this video, taken at the end of Owen’s lesson last Thursday.
Did you notice how willingly Owen walked over the “bridge” from the trails course? How about that reinback? All this in a halter, no less. He has such a lovely willingness about him, he really wants to please.
Formal training has really changed the way Owen deals with what’s being asked of him in the rest of his life when Matt’s not around. His fear of new people has diminished, and his friendly and curious nature is blossoming, making him very popular with the people he meets at Sandamar Farm. He’s now joined the regular turnout rotation at the barn, something that wasn’t possible when he first arrived because he couldn’t be easily caught. He’s embraced the barn’s routine with enthusiasm, and is always happy when the feed cart rolls by. He’s been stalled next to a mare named Maybelle for the last several weeks, and the two of them co-exist peacefully with the help of Sandamar’s safe and secure Centaur fencing. Maybelle is quick to put Owen in his place whenever she feels the need, and when Maybelle gives him mare ears and a sharp squeal, he actually looks embarrassed and offers no backtalk.
Another awesome benefit of this newer, braver Owen is that he can stand in the cross ties for grooming! This, in turn, has given him the opportunity to learn how much he enjoys being groomed! His winter coat is making its way in, and he’s shedding a lot. Owen now submits to grooming like he’s been doing it all his life. Yesterday we had a marathon session (dirty horse!) and it suddenly dawned on me that I was currying his back legs with the soft curry and he was not even twitching! It’s moments like this where I just can’t believe that two months ago, no one could even touch his legs at all. He’s come so far.
But back to grooming…having done a fair bit of Curly Horse research online, I’ve read some interesting advice about helping one’s Curly Horse re-grow mane and tail more successfully. So I’m treating Owen’s skin with an anti-fungal solution and caring for what little hair he’s got with oils. It’s going to be a while before we know if this is going to work, but I’m cautiously optimistic. It took a bit for Owen to allow me to mess with his sad little tail, but now he stands for long sessions of while I massage it with oils (and chant “grow, grow, grow” under my breath).