A Year Since "The Fence"
Early last April I was starting to get moments with Bast where I could tell he was loosening up and learning to move more like a dressage horse than a race horse. However, his tension and ulcers made me question whether the next step he took would be sane or an explosion.
|Moments of brilliance were there.|
|Unfortunately for him, he was stuck with my ridiculousness and relentless annoyances.|
Once Bast ran through the fence last year, I realized an important thing. His problems weren't normal and weren't training related. All of his "training" things were going well. When he wasn't panicked, he was coming along lovely. Unfortunately the panic and tension were completely overwhelming him. I needed to figure out a way to get through his head, and solve his issues.
|Getting beat up by old cranky quarter horses was really helpful when it came to teaching him to deal with life.|
As you guys know, I moved Bast to another farm where he could be stalled part of the time. He had his butt kicked by a big herd of old quarter horses, and the rest of his time he spent learning humans are the source of companionship, good advice, and really tasty foodstuffs. A low key summer of rehab (both physical and mental!) left him in a very positive place.
By the fall we were ready to leave the property and try showing off at schooling shows. Things went super. Bast was starting to look to me for confidence and reassurance. He still called for other horses, but was getting much better.
|Looking (and mostly acting!) like a grown up at the big atmosphere of Loch Moy.|
In January I felt it was time to move him back to the training barn, where we could buckle down and get back to sport horse life. I'm still floored by how well Bast made the move. While I'm sure the month of ulcer medication support helped, his mind has come so far from just a year ago. He's calmer, he's quieter, and he's more trusting.
|He's also able to work alone in the field for the first time ever.|
Bast's journey has taken longer than some OTTBs transitions, but I'm not upset about that time. He needed to heal both his mind and body to be ready for life as a sport horse. Giving him that time and support is paying off for me in big ways. He's beginning to offer me moments of exceptional work, which are completely exciting. More than that, he's becoming just the type of horse I love-- the "up-for-anything" companion. Pig taught me how much I love having a horse that can go from galloping in the field to half passing in the ring within moments. Bast is quickly becoming just that type of horse for me, and I'm so excited to see how the next year with him pans out!
|Thanks for coming around this year, my man.|