I am coming to recognize what is going to hurt Trax the most when it comes to doing RV.
I think this is directly related to his past and although I'm not saying that we will never get past it. I can see where it is a huge problem for him right now.
Trax 's automatic transmission is broken.
In order for a horse to do well in these kind of competitions it is important to be able to shift gears smoothly. It generally doesn't take a ton of energy to do the reining, in fact calm is better there. Calm is vital in the trail portion. But cow work requires energy.
It requires a horse to be able to be quick on his feet and mentally ready to go as fast or slow as needed to keep up with and control the cow.
Yesterday I rode Trax and we did a little work on our imaginary flag again. This time he was doing the same as before. Slogging along like we were pushing a Dairy Queen.
So I thought I would do just like I did before and give him the tap on the shoulder to wake him up. But he knew what was coming this time and I barely even got my hand on the rein and he lost it!!!
He took off at Mach 9 and nothing I did would slow him down for a bit. He did not buck but he ran pretty wildly for a while. I rode it out and tried to talk to him.
Pretty soon his ears flicked back and he relaxed a little. Then I ran him straight into the fence. He stood there with his sides heaving and his eyes as big as saucers.
I turned him slowly and asked him to just walk until he would put his head down.
Then we went back to the flag. I asked for the lope departure, the stop and the turn and we did it several times but I could feel him getting ready to snap again. So I quit before he did.
Then We just long trotted those circles and figure eights again until he relaxed.
So here is my problem.
It is as if he is missing a gear in his tranny. Because he has first and second, but no third.
He does have overdrive though. And that play on words is more accurate than you may think.
He can go slow and easy. He can pick it up enough to lope some nice circles, he can not pick it up enough to be quick on his feet but just jumps straight to race mode and spins wildly out of control.
I believe there is a way to fix this. I just have to find it. I have no doubt that I will but it is going to take some time....and that is ok. I am not on a deadline with this horse. I've got all the time in the world.
I do have some ideas which I discussed yesterday wth a friend. One of them being magnesium supplements to get him to be just a little less reactive and looser in those muscles.
When I got Trax his rubber band was wound up as right as it could go. He only knew overdrive. So the fact that he has some lower gears now is great. Now I just need to find that gear that is missing.
In other news there is a lot of up coming stuff right here in my neighborhood. Including the trim clinic, an extreme trail course, perhaps some lessons for simon on Killian and maybe me on sassy, and the chance to do some free cow work at my own pace. So I am very excited about that.
The trimmer was here yesterday so I will have some pics to post soon.
The chiro/ dental gal will be here tomorrow to asses all the ponies.