Today, Lucky had his day to start becoming all that he can be. While Rugby had the day off from the Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue’s All-Thoroughbred Horse Show yesterday, it was time to work on the other freeloaders around here. Lucky came in, got his grooming, carrots, and treats, and then he got a saddle pad, a saddle, a breastplate and a bridle. Each new thing was a surprise, but he got to sniff and look at each item as it appeared and then was worn. It was absolutely non-eventful until the bridle came out. It was clear he hadn’t had a bit in the mouth for a while, and flipped the nose up and down while I stood waving the bridle up and down with the big head. It wasn’t mean-spirited or anti-work, just leftover behavior, probably from the bad teeth he once had. After some re-positioning, I did get the bridle over the ears and in the mouth and once there, he did put his head down and mouth the bit a while. So I didn’t fasten the noseband too tightly, to give him some room to play with it a while, and fitted the halter over the bridle, and grabbed the lunge line and went for a walk.
Once in the ring, he walked along with me and stopped occasionally to look around at the neighbor’s houses. He threw his head up and nickered after his pasture mate, but that was his 10-second meltdown, and true to his naturally quiet nature, he went on with me without any more hollers. We just walked to the right, and to the left, and then did a very rudimentary lunge lesson in both directions, just at the walk. He was good and I left it at that. He’s a good learner, as are most Thoroughbreds, but you can’t throw too much at him at once, if he can’t process it, he’ll resent your forcing him, so slow is the speed for the moment.
I love trying tack on the new horses to see what fits. I don’t think he likes the three-piece snaffle (Dr. Bristol type) so I’ll change it to something more along the lines of an eggbutt and see if he is happier. He has a low palate and small mouth for his size, but a long head. He girths actually pretty normal, while he’s tall, he’s narrow. He is still putting on weight and trying to get his bones covered, but that will be a slow process. In the meantime, he can start to work a little and begin to build back his muscle. Every horse that is worth training has a day when their life begins. Racehorses probably have three or four days that their live(s, plural) begin, and re-begin. Today was Lucky’s second beginning.