I took Top over to Elaine's to ride him in a quiet place for a few days. Well, that didn't work. He was a basket case. He was having trouble just existing. Pacing, screaming...he spooked at a weed with a blue flower. We were watching him graze in the pen...he has his head down eating...sees the flower and jumps backwards splay legged. Sometimes this horse flat makes me crazy.
When he does something like this I often look at him, and say pretty loudly, "What?!" He looks at me, and I put my arms out a little from my sides palms up...he looks and settles. Who freaken knows what goes on his little brain.
We arrived at Elaine's in the late afternoon yesterday. We left Elaine's late afternoon today. Top didn't eat any hay, nor drink any water. He drank a little this afternoon when I led him over to the trough, and held him...and kept him company while he drank. So, he drank his fill, which was quite a bit.
Yesterday Elaine watched him for a bit yesterday. Watched me work him on the line. She says, "You're riding this horse?" Oh never a good sign with Elaine. She is basically saying he is not together enough, or trained enough, or sane enough to be riding. Well shit....strike two. (Strike one was the neurotic behavior in the pen). The last time she said this to me was when I took Strider to her 14 years ago. And he was naughghghtttyyyy. He used to rear, and slam me into crap while on his hind legs.
But hey Strider came around. She didn't get on him until she had at least 30 days of lunging and driving on him. He came around huge. He left Elaine's after one winter at 2nd level and very steady. He was young though. A quarter horse and not afraid of anything. Fear wasn't Strider's issue. Strider was more 'You wanna fight...we can go to war.' He was great if you asked him. You could get after him and he'd dig a little deeper. He had an extreme sense of fairness.
I took Top over to the cross ties, and tacked him up. Lunged for a bit and got on. Yup, major timebomb feeling. (I really am hating that feeling). We got a little work, not much. He was really struggling. Couldn't get into the outside rein to save his life (or mine). I was working him long and low. Trying to get him to stretch and relax. He spooked. He spooked so hard and fast sideways my back is still hurting. Elaine said, "Well that was hard and nasty. For no reason."
Strike three...Elaine wont get on him (no I didn't ask. She volunteered up that bit of info). Really bad sign. So, we'll see how it goes. I have a Carrie lesson next weekend. I know he's a project. I know he isn't a short-term project. The problem is I have three other projects standing in my field. I need to figure this out. Maisa stands, Iris stands, Cami stands. Not a fair trade is it? We'll see if Carrie has any ideas.