So, Neuf is a big, mature looking 2 year old. He’s also a bit of a bully. He’s not so respectful of space, he’s awfully quick to go to the “make me” answer of a request. His default “I don’t wanna” is also to face you and back away, leaving me with the “go backwards faster until I say stop” or try to get to the side of him enough to drive him forward.
On Tuesday, I had James come and work with him, since a second set of eyes is always a good thing. The little brat is on his way to being a rank bastard if we don’t get this nipped in the bud. (That is my assessment of him, not James!). The bad, he pulled all the same antics with James that he pulls with me (bulge shoulder toward human turn away, attempt to go the other way). He forgets to respect the human’s space, he essentially has a bit of a submission problem, he needs to learn to go where he is told, when he is told, and at the speed the human requests. The good, James had no problem suggesting we put him in a bridle (more control over a large 2 year old who decides he doesn’t need to listen). Then, James didn’t like my lunge line/surcingle combination for ground driving, so suggested we put a saddle on, and Neuf was totally cool with having a pad, saddle and being girthed up. His issue is being to told where to move, when to move and how to move.
This might have been an early indication…we just wanted him to trot around for pictures.
Wednesday, we did a short session going in and out of the barn, and he was acceptably good. This morning, OTOH, I spent 45 minutes bringing him in, because his answer to turning right was “make me”. We finally ended on an ok note. Not fabulous, but seriously, it leaves me pondering a 30 day away cowboy camp, for some serious ground work. Not riding, basic handling, to my ZTF standards. Forward, left, right, whoa, walk, trot, ground drive, and with a pleasant, yes ma’am or sir.
I’m considering it carefully. I do want fabulous ground manners, but I want to keep a positive attitude that still likes people and has plenty of forward for later sport horse activities…with a lot more respect of their space.
He’s on remedial sessions for a few days. I’m not quick to send a horse out for ground manners, I’m usually the one installing them. I’ll see how things look after another session with James and several more sessions of home-schooling.