Hello hello! I know it has been a while since you’ve heard from us. These last couple months have been pretty consistent and without many exciting updates. I can only write so many “I love Dayton so much” blah blah posts before y’all get sick of it! There have been a couple big moments for us though and I want to share them with you. I posted awhile back about how we trotted for the first time, that was super exciting and I was so proud of him. I’ll take a minute to explain why that was a big moment for us. So you all know I’ve known Dayton and actually started training him when he was just a lil baby. And then he was adopted by someone else when he turned two and then came back two years later. Well I don’t really know all that he did when he was gone, I know he was put in some type of training thing but other than that, I don’t know how often he was actually ridden or not. Then when he came back to AAE he became one of the orientation horses to help all you lovely volunteers! Anyway, this was my thought process…
I wanted to start him from the bottom up again and train him how I had trained him before and basically go from there so that we were on the same page together moving forward. When I started it was obvious he did not understand cues very well so that was the first thing to work on. I used my voice commands and reinforced them with my leg until he was pickin’ up what I was puttin’ down. That has taken us the longest so far.
But as soon as he understood all of my leg cues we started trotting and that was the video I had posted. That is why it was a big moment for us, because even though he had been ridden in the past, even though I had kind of ridden him in the past, this was different because we worked to get here together from the bottom up. And now his trot is amazing! He has it down pat and we have been adding in more fun things like bending and leg yielding and circles! He is so smart and is really quick to pick things up. I have no doubt we are so close to being able to canter. I have also been walking him around the property more to get him comfortable out of the arena and we have this huge pasture at the back of the property and the first time I took him out there with my friend he was a little nervous and excited and got a bit fired up, no thanks to all the horses in the paddocks deciding to go crazy, but he was still a good boy.
Just recently I took him out again for the second time all on our own and he was so relaxed and did so good! The neighbor’s dog even ran over to say hello and he stood there calm as can be and I was so proud of him! I am hoping to get more involved with the club I am a part of at school and bring him around for ride nights and other fun riding adventures. He is coming along so nicely and we have been making such good progress together.
I’m so proud of my handsome boy. <3