When Rudy walked up to Canyon, Canyon tensed up. He snorted at Rudy's hand then took a quick side step when he tried to mount him.
"That is a one person horse," he said as Canyon trotted off.
I figured Canyon was just being difficult and now I'd have the same trouble with him. So I went over to the other end of the arena and went over to him. Canyon stood still, head relaxed and lowered. I got on and he was completely calm.
"He doesn't give his trust easily, but he's given it to you," Rudy remarked, getting on Woody (who had let me mount just fine, sane horse that he is).
I realized that it's true. Now, after 11 months, something has changed. Canyon is willing to give me some rope. Not all of it, though.
We were on a trail ride today and he bucked and was generally freaked out at the start of the ride. He did a side step so fast he almost lost me.
Thank goodness for those velcro pockets.
I rode him through it, then he had a panic run. I could feel his panic and did all I could in the saddle to reassure him. I let him run a bit, gradually slowing him down. I had to remain dead calm and this time, I managed it. But he was still bratty, still testing me. At one point I had to give him a solid smack on the hindquarters when he was acting up. Then he settled down a bit.
While we got through it, its clear = there's a lot of work I need to do with this crazy horse to get him to a place where he really trusts me all the way. And I'm going to need help because I am beyond my abilities with this.
But he is coming up to me in the field, he's nodding when he sees me, he is fine until we get up to a lope and the energy and nerves rise. So maybe I'm back to day 3 in the stop the bucking lessons. Maybe I need to see about getting some lessons together with a trainer.
But I'm not selling him. He's my crazy dog and unless someone who knows a hell of a lot more than me tells me different, I'm convinced I can find a good place with this life that is in my hands.
As a result, I'm making the ultimate commitment a woman can make with a gelding. I'm buying new tack.
I'm buying a new rope halter from these folks, because if you'll recall Canyon lost his in his panic run through Guadalupe state park. At Black Pond they will custom out everything and the prices are fantastic. I'll post on the quality when I receive it.