As I watched Trainer AB take Hamilton over his first jump this week it hit me that this will be the fanciest, most athletic horse I will likely ever have the good fortune to sit on. He is such a cool horse I wish everyone who has ever followed along with me could come meet him - words are hard to use to describe him.
It also then dawned on me that he is likely wasted living out in my pasture and being ridden a couple times a week. It is unlikely that I'll ever campaign him or if I do it won't be anywhere close to what he could do. If I make it to BN I'll be lucky. Of course, then I watched him napping in the late evening sunshine and realized that Hamilton could give two craps about running around an upper level event. "Wasted potential" is a purely human sentiment that he knows nothing about.
What does Hamilton know about? Napping. Playing with Eeyore and Pete in the pasture, being over the moon in love with Gem, tolerating my existence, and teaching me all the things under saddle.
|It is always time for a nap. Also note - I snagged a great deal on a BC Wexford in Hamilton's size and it fits him beautifully.|
I've taken advantage of having Trainer AB in my life by having her ride him most lesson days. Some days I will hop on after her and some days I ride him the entire time, but mostly she works him to establish a good base. He is....interesting for me to ride. I've had a hard time articulating it but after last week I finally put my finger on the issue.
Hamilton is a good boy. He has never offered to rear, bolt, buck, spook, spin, drop a shoulder or refuse to do anything. He is also a big thinker. You can see his gears turning when faced with something new. When Trainer introduced the small cross rail he happily went forward with ears pricked and while he neared you could se him deciding exactly where to put his feet. He placed them exactly where he wanted and popped over cantering away no issue. Trainer was grinning from ear to ear. He is such a cool dude.
My biggest learning curve with him is his canter which lets be honest is my worst gait anyway. Eeyore requires a LOT of seat, a slight leaning back posture and super tight core to lift his front end up and keep his feet moving. When I did that on Hamilton I felt like I was about to fly off the back of him and he got real pissy (marked by a slight pinning of the ears). I asked to have the ride on him the next lesson to address this and figure out my issue and it turns out I need to be slightly forward with him with a quieter seat. Once I did that things went way better.
|Out of new pics so you get a very happy and dirty Fluffzilla|
I’m hoping to build more confidence on him and start going over small cross rails myself. I’m still not 100% comfortable in him. He is a much different ride than anything I’ve ever sat on with a super narrow build that makes me feel like I’ll tip off his side and large, floaty gaits. Hopefully more time will help me settle better.