Speedy is the opposite of simple; he's a very complicated horse. He's over reactive, hot, and prone to get the hell out of Dodge. He's the freak-out-now, ask-questions-later type. But, he's also willing, super smart, eager to play, quick to ham it up, in my back pocket, and more than happy to strut his stuff in the show ring. I "get' Arabs; I know how they think, and I adore their quirky personalities.
Izzy, on the other hand, seems to be very content to let me call the shots. My big plan to tie him up in various kinds of places to teach him some patience while he forgets about his little herd, well, that seems done. I tied him up to my trailer again for nearly an hour on Tuesday afternoon. All he did was stand there with a leg cocked while offering the occasional long look at what I was doing in the arena. There was no nervous sweating or pacing. B-o-r-i-n-g.
Yesterday afternoon, we did the same neighborhood walk that on Saturday had caused so much yelling and crying. Other than still trying to walk on my heels, he was pretty good. He called once or twice, but they weren't the gut wrenching screeches of the other day, and he knew he was busted as soon as he did it. And of course, as soon as he did cry, my rope was sending his haunches around and around. There were a few times that he wanted to call back to Speedy, but when I gave a tug on the halter to redirect his attention, he thought better of it.
The newest skill I am teaching him is to plant a front hoof on the mounting block like the farrier will do with a hoof stand. When I messed around with the trick on Tuesday, Izzy knocked the whole mounting block over (Speedy would have erupted) and then just stood there looking at it. I put his leg back up and he stood there. And stood there. And stood there. Again, B-O-R-I-N-G!
After I clean out his hooves, I take each leg and place it between my knees to hammer on it like the farrier does. When he was first shod with the trainer up north, I was told that he threw an absolute hysterical fit and needed to be sedated by the vet. I don't necessarily doubt that, but on the other hand, this horse must be the fastest learner on the planet. I can whack those feet pretty dang hard and he never pulls back.
I am enjoying the ground work that we're doing. We're definitely building a friendship, and he's learning that he can trust me. I am also learning that I can trust him. He's careful not to hurt me, and I can already tell that he's not going to be a bolter. I am pretty sure that once we start doing some under saddle work, things are going to go smoothly.
Knock on wood, folks, knock on wood!