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I thought I'd give you a quick update on Billy's progress since his move to
my place last July. As many of you know, I bought Billy (Belizair) from
Michael Bowling in Cal. -- he's a 9yo, 15h. son of Belesemo Trad and
Naliza, Michael's foundation mare. He's built *very* well, pretty to look
at, moves like a dream, and learns very quickly. He had been "ridden some"
by Michael's daughter but is still what I would refer to as "very green" in
a lot of ways. We went back to Square One, which I do with all of the
horses that come here anyway, and he definitely needed some holes filled.
;-) He's the smartest and most attentive horse that I've owned. This is a
good thing, but doesn't come without it's own set of "to-do"s: Rules for
Training the Sensative Horse! ;-)
Billy has gone thru a lot of adjustments since he arrived here...it's a
completely different environment than what he was used to -- lots of
activity, kids and dogs always around, *lots* of rules ;-), and great
grazing -- the best being the walk around the property on the lead line
after you finish working and finding out apples and pears grow on the
ground too!! <g> He's had several lungeing sessions and has learned to
longline walk and trot, slowly...all of which he picked up very quickly.
It was a bit of a shock to him when he found out that coming into the arena
and ripping around at will wasn't going to happen and that the next thing
he was going to do was not going to be of his own choosing! Because of his
ultra-sensitive nature, I wanted to make sure we established who was boss
quickly and that it was okay, even preferred <g>, that he do what he's
told...and that he'll be showered with "good boys", lots of cooing, and a
little pat when he's good but he'll be the recipient of loud growls, the
big, bad buzzer noise, "QUIT", and an occasional smack if he's bad. ;-)
He's already decided which he prefers and is learning that not knowing what
to do is not a bad thing...but acting like a nitwit and thinking about a
hissy gets him in deeeeep trouble.
This guy is very talented physically...would be very capable of riding to
Grand Prix in dressage, if I should ever choose to go that far (but I hate
to show. :-p) One step at a time tho...today we mediocre circles, terrible
straight lines (it's hard to walk straight when you have to watch out for
the bogey man in the mirrors or the cavalettis ;-)) and leg yields at a
walk...but it was far more than I expected to get on the first "date"
riding. He's very responsive to my body, *very* alert (and a wee bit
herdbound :-p but paying attention to me got better results than looking
for a buddy!) Personality-wise he is a LOT like the TB mare I had that I
lost to EPM a couple of years ago...also has the same feel from the saddle
and those nice, long walk strides. She was also a very sensitive horse and
I loved her to pieces. Billy reminds me a lot of her...except he's closer
to the ground (she was an honest 16.3h.) Billy is not nearly spooky as
Blaze was when I started him (also at an older age) and will walk up to
scary stuff a lot quicker than he does. Blaze initially refused to walk on
the asphalt driveway and going near the back patio was totally out of the
question!! Billy, on his first trip around the house, managed to get his
nose to the back door. Big brave horse!
It has taken me a while to get around to riding him but my schedule has
been incredibly busy the last couple of months (not to mention my body
having to recover from being assaulted by that nasty tree in May. <g>)
This slow, slow pace suited him fine tho -- he looks great, has gained
about 50lb. (which he needed), and has gotten acclimated to a lot of
changes. He's a very personable and attentive horse...and damned cute too!
So far so good...
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