It is July 7th and I am quite sure that this post will be very long to make up for the weeks and weeks of not posting anything. It has been an adventure. I can confidently say that this mustang has been the hardest horse I have worked with in so many ways. The same reasons that make him easy on some levels are the exact reasons that make him difficult. Let me also note that mine is not the only one that is making his handler work for it. Jenna's mustang, Henry, is equally mischevious. He likes the idea of bucking hard when going faster then a walk. That means Jenna is riding at a walk so she does not die. Jim's mare, who he refused to name, has enough flight drive for 16 horses. I got tired of the mare having no name (because he was certain if he did not give her a name then he would not keep her) that I gave her a name yesterday. Her name is Inara. It means ray of light, illuminating, or sent from heaven. I was helping him trailer load her and I decided she earned a name by the time we were done.
Okay, so lets go over some things that have happened with Ari in the last month. He has been wearing a saddle for the last month. When he wears it he likes to buck. Not the kind of buck you look at and say "I can sit that" but the kind of buck where he puts his head between his front legs and you see his hind feet a foot over the round pen. Oh, did I mention that he can buck? And it really didn't help that Ari and I had an accident where I ended up injured and unable to work him for three weeks. We were playing with me on the fence above him and Ari ran into the fence knocking me under his feet. He spun and landed his hind foot on my knee cap pushing it completely sideways and back. This made me scream a little and have to hobble on crutches awhile. I also make a cranky person when I can not work my mustang makeover horse! After all of this I thought to myself that this is the first horse I have really felt needed to be laid down. So that is what he and I did one night. I slowly, cautiously, and with respect taught him that the ground was a good place to be. Oddly enough that made a huge difference in his respect level for me and instead of cussing me out when I would ask him to do something (anything really), he started thinking maybe he should say yes to me. We made progress. We were able to stand in his stirrups instead of being launched into the dirt. Did I tell you that Ari can buck? I am not saying that Ari has become the quietest horse around but he is at least starting to look rideable. Yeah! I am not sure that I will not still get launched a time or two but it is beginning to be a dream of mine that Ari and I might ride accident free!