There have been some good posts by Laura Crum over at Equestrian Ink about trust and finding a middle of the road.
I enjoyed both articles because they really relate to the relationships I have with Sera and Rosso. I "trust" Sera a lot more because she's earned much more of it in our relationship with her behavior.
Well, I've extended the "trust" olive branch as it were but I don't trust him outside of my trainer's indoor arena just yet.
One of my friends from the barn told me, "It's like he was a bad boyfriend and now he has to earn your trust again..." and that is exactly it.
Yeah, me getting a little boogered by him didn't and doesn't help but I think we are on a good path, my confidence is increasing and I'm riding him regularly while learning how to ride this particular "delicate flower" of a horse.
I swear if he were human he'd wear black turtle necks, a beret, speak with a lisp and read poetry on open mike night. When things didn't go his way he'd scream, use lots of flailing, large, hand gestures and run for the bathroom. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It's just I have to figure out how to work with this uber sensitive soul in a way that we are both happy and confident with each other.
Our last lessons have gone swimmingly and without a hitch.
Last week during our lesson, in a 20m trot circle, he stopped suddenly without warning with his front legs stuck into the dirt, flung his head up and crabbed sideways vs. forward. I stuck on him, kicked him forward and he went on without complaint. He threatened to stop a couple more times in that same spot but didn't...
Pretty sure he's testing me to see if I'm worthy of being listened to. This is why I'm keeping him at the indoor until I feel fully confident I'm communicating clearly, I know what he has up his sleeve and that I have the skill to ride it out emotionally and physically.
We went on to canter, a great ground covering stride, where he lifted his back up beneath me and it was a cool tho maybe a bit "what the hell is that?! is he getting ready to pitch a fit?" feeling since my mare doesn't use her back nearly like Rosso does and I'm not used to that particular sensation. I kept my cool, stayed relaxed and laughed with my trainer about my thoughts afterward.
I'm not on any timeline and I really do enjoy his goofy personality on the ground - his breeder called him "Goober" - his Jockey Club name is Peanut Vendor and it truly fits him, he IS a Goober.
I know my old gelding, Brandon, isn't going to be around forever so Rosso's job to be a herdmate/buddy to my mare still stands if worse comes to worse.
However, I *think* we'll come out on the other side just fine. I say think cuz none of us really knows what this wiggly world has in store for us.
*M just called on my cell - she lives up the road from us and says I can bring Rosso up to her place to get him out and about on Sunday... we'll see how he handles a change o' scenery. grin.