Yesterday was Rugby's pre-purchase exam. Not bad. Some things that I'm glad I'm aware of but no deal breakers as far as the vet seems concerned. I'm going to take the plunge and buy him. So as of tomorrow, I go to the bank and send the balance in a certified check!
I checked my training calendar (I have a calendar hanging in my locker. On it, I write in how long he's ridden or worked with and what was done) and he's now got 10 rides on him. In those 10 rides there has been noticeable improvement on:
- walking up to the mounting block and standing still while mounted
- standing still after I am in the tack and settled, then only walking on after I ask.
- walking and trotting past the gate or barn door without as much resistance
- staying straighter at walk and trot down the long sides of the arena
- trotting for longer periods of time without trying to break to the walk.
He's shown me even in this short time that he has a good capacity for learning and keeping what he's taught. That is great if my schedule keeps me away from riding for a few days because it's nice to get on and pick up where we left off instead of having to do a "refresher" each time. That was one of Monty's strongest traits and I love that Rugby seems to have it, too.
The night before last, I went to ride after dinner. By now, Rugby has no problem riding under the lights in the arena behind the barn. So I mount up, get settled and ask him to walk on, we start along the rail when I see a white plastic shopping bag stuck in one of the short trees on the long side of the riding ring. Looked like the wind had blown it around and it got snagged on the branches. It was just above the horses' eye level and Rugby hadn't noticed it yet. As we approached and walked by, I figured, "okay, let's just see what he does" so I reached over and plucked it out of the tree!
He felt me twist, then felt the tug and heard the bag rattle. He just hopped one step to the side and planted himself still! Then he turned his head around to nuzzle my boot and look at me as if to say, "ok, what was that? is it safe? sounds like a bag - are there treats I should know about?" I crumpled the bag and stuffed it into my pocket and rewarded him like crazy for being so calm! That's a personality worth a million to me.