Last weekend we arrived at our trainers to find Nemo all about greeting us, and then there was Koda who glanced but wouldn't even turn around. Since he had an attitude, I went to love up Nemo instead. Eventually Koda decided to show some interest in our arrival, and then received a warm welcome. Somethings never change, you could flip a coin with that boy to see which one you've got that day.
As usual Brad was already riding Nemo by the time Koda & I entered the arena. 40 mile an hour winds were randomly blowing the new giant wall fan at the end of the arena open, slamming it shut, and creating weird loud creaking sounds. I thought a warm up lunge at that end of the arena would be a good idea. Remember the crazy lunging horse in the arena from a few rides ago? Well, that was us this time. Koda bucked, pulled, raced, and gave me dirty looks. Who's horse is this? I've only seen him act up like that once while lunging, when he first learned how as a yearling and was testing things out. That wasn't going to work this time either, and he quickly settled and chose to listen.
I didn't care much for the way Koda was acting, and opted not to hop on him right away. Instead we walked around and hung out down at the scary end of the arena, until our trainer came back from multi-tasking. I wanted her to ride him first, and see just what this new found behavior was all about. My horse was acting out of character, even for him. The winds had died down a fair amount, and of course Koda was perfect for her. I would expect nothing less.
I hopped on to find my sluggish boy was gone, and had changed into an energetic teenage version. Where repeated cues were needed in the past, it was one - and go. He didn't even try to quit until asked. Our trainer wasn't kidding when she said "Koda wants to go-go-go" and added "it's like they (Koda & Nemo) switched places". Fine with me, as long as Koda is listening - and he was, intently. I wonder if/how long it will last? I guess Koda has been this energetic since day one (two weeks ago) clearly happy to be back! Maybe he thought I was there to take him home, or more likely re-testing me. Nemo on the other hand seems like he could take Iron Horse, or leave it. He certainly doesn't dislike it, but I think he would rather be back in the pasture at home keeping track of his herd. Brad also found Nemo not to be his old ride, he was back to being a bit racey and high headed.
I had a good time riding Koda that day, he was different but fun. I really enjoyed his extended trot, didn't even know he had that cue...and I could even feel the gait was correct lol. It was obvious. I'm glad Brad asked about it, we missed trying their extended trot's before. Koda's lope was okay, somewhere along the way his cue for collecting got foggy. Our trainer agreed with me, and is working on it. He was still responding to the cue pretty well when we dropped him off, but in fixing other things he isn't anymore. I know it takes time to put it all back together. If only we could ride year round, there would be less to put back together.
I remember the mixed feeling of finding our horses different, in particular right after they start training. Sometimes I wonder if it's all worth it - but in the end, it always proves to be.