So if it's alright, I'd really like to make myself feel better by talking about Speedy's recent work. He hasn't always been easy. In fact, for the first three years that I owned him, I threatened to sell him pretty much every week. And even as a seven and eight year old, posting a for sale sign was frequently on my mind.
So when I feel frustrated with Izzy or scared that he's going to turn out to be a looney tune, I remind myself that Speedy, too, went through years of being a complete idiot.
I wrote about the trickier parts of First Level's test 3 yesterday. Even though we didn't master everything in one day, Speedy showed some really great improvement in yesterday's ride. When we worked on the 10-meter circles, I could feel him really trying to figure the movement out. And that's how he is. To him, it's like a choreographed dance - he definitely remembers how each movement should go.
I am very careful to never put the whole test together at home because he would memorize it and then try to rush through it in an effort to impress me with how smart he is. Instead, I ride pieces of the test and hook those pieces to other pieces, but I do everything out of order. It might seem far fetched, but Speedy does seem to memorize each of the chunks.
While I was helping him learn the 10-meter circles, I saw his ears flick back and forth a few times as I was preparing for the halt at X. Each time I crossed X, I took a little breath and said, and halt but continued on to the left turn at E. Then one time, instead of trotting over X, I gave a small a half halt at B and actually halted at X. Speedy listened really well. He had figured out that it was coming.
I keep asking Speedy to have a heart to heart with Izzy. I am not sure if Izzy is just not listening or whether Speedy simply wants me all to himself. The latter is no doubt closer to the truth. For now, I am soaking up the feel good vibes that Speedy is creating for me and trying not to be too discouraged by Izzy's seeming regression.
Patience, Sweaney, patience.