I swear I think Tango is a handsome horse, but a recent round of attempted conformation shots has me questioning myself, my ability to photograph anything, and what a horse is even shaped like.
Tango moved to JM's barn in June for a dressage intensive tune-up, then he went up for sale for a while. And then time yawned interminably, and all of a sudden he'd been in training for five months and I needed to bring him home or start living in a cardboard box, so he returned back to my farm December 1st.
When he returned, I immediately noticed a few things. Nine months of riding Kat has made my confidence level skyrocket. Kat regularly moves in ways that can be very unsettling, she overjumps everything like a pogo-sticking leopard, and has more tricks up her sleeve than any horse has a right to. So even though Tango is approximately 15 feet long, I'm not nearly so hesitant about his "where are my feet" moments as I used to be. I used to pause, circle back, reattempt a little slower, whereas now I'm a lot more "haha whatever dude let's push on, this time actually with legs underneath us."
|"Listen lady, trail rides are for quarter horses."|
Tango has a lot of strength building still to do, and I think most of the 'issues' at this point aren't training issues but rather strength issues. He's a very strong horse in that he doesn't give up easily and will happily trot/canter forever. But when we're talking about the strength to carry himself nicely? Totally different.
I'm taking him to Twin Rivers for his first 3-day in about six weeks here. The dressage will be fine if I can get him calm and stretching enough before we go in the ring, I'm not remotely concerned about stadium, and it's totally fine if he takes a week off after the cross country.
I'll also learn to shorten my stirrups when jumping him, because his back is just so springy over these fences.
Meanwhile, E has been having some spectacular rides with him, the very-fun-to-teach lessons where I can shape the horse through my rider's hands and play with lots of exercises. Her goal is to show him some this year which I am in wholehearted approval of.
|"What's happening, why am I on fire?!"|
|"Okay people, this work thing is overrated."|