As Forrest looks and feels even on all four legs again, it’s time to go back to school. He’s been quite a good patient with restricted turn out and with the lovely warm days after chilly nights, he’s been taking advantage of the late morning sun.
I think I’ve been far more antsy than him, not only feeling the pressure of the year coming to a close but also, I just really miss riding him. And what a marvelous couple of rides he has given me, since back undersaddle! Our first session, after longeing, natch, was primarily stretching at the walk and trot while the following day, I added the canter. And even though tracking right remains a challenge in keeping his shoulders aligned as opposed to a wobbly shopping cart feeling, it was much, much, straighter.
The left canter had the same wonderful loft and rhythm and I found myself saying aloud, “He’s only 4, remember that, he’s only 4.”
The trot a horse lands in after a quality canter is always the best trot they can offer and Forrest’s was full of dynamic, forward, energy that remained balanced, swinging and never took over. While his racing mouth is a mixture of rubber and lead and continued suppling of that jaw is something that needs daily focus, he is already tremendously easy to adjust: the half halts, even at this kinderqarten stage are going through, and I’m often left a little speechless by the power I feel developing beneath me.
I’ve hesitated in writing this, but I have articulated it to a couple of close friends. I’ve hesitated because I’m always wary of jinxing myself and I know my horse doesn’t have clean X-rays. But I will say it now as I pray I can keep him sound and happy: Forrest is the most talented and best moving youngster I have ever started or owned. And with a deep breath, I will add if he had perfect X-rays and I was shopping for a quality young prospect in Holland or Germany with $30,000 to spend and this OTTB was led out of the stall…I would have bought him. He’s that good. And he takes a great selfie.