But Altivo is NOT fail!
He is good. He is teaching me alot about horse behavior, and I'm starting to recognize certain personality traits and am figuring out how to respond in the right way. My instructor says he's a good match for me, and I would like to think so as well. He is a Percheron, and very laid back. Some horses have a lot of "go", meaning they like to move, are energetic, etc. Altivo has a lot of "wait and see". He doesn't spook easily, he doesn't tend to react quickly to things that I've shown him or done to him. If it's an Object, he likes to sniff it or see if it's food. That's his main goal in life, to eat.
I looked at the Parelli horsenality chart and I think, according to that, he's a left brain introvert. He's calm, food driven, has a tendency to stop and is low key. He's not incredibly stubborn that I've noticed, but I suppose he could be if I let him.
So until last week, since I haven't bought a saddle yet, I visited him every day with the occasional day off, and I'd halter him and work on something with him on the ground. Whether it was picking his feet up, standing while I brushed him, working on his mouthy-ness, or taking him for a walk, I made sure to do something with him everytime I set foot in the barn. I also lunged him on a lead and without (free lunging?). He already knew everything I asked of him as far as changing direction, stopping when asked, but the first few times of doing any of these exercises, he tested me. He'd move away from me, bend down to mouth whatever part he could reach of me, chew on his lead rope, or refuse to pick his feet up by planting his weight squarely on all four hooves. He also wanted to try to be in my personal space, or he'd try to run ahead of me while leading. Verbally correcting him and checking him with the lead line worked for the most part, but for the cases when he stopped listening to me altogether regarding the nipping, lead rope chewing, or running ahead, we got Mr. Spanker. Please don't think I beat my horse, nor do I take pleasure in having to use Mr. Spanker, but I needed a more aggressive approach to the 2000lb animal that was taking advantage of me. So here is Altivo meeting Mr. Spanker for the first time. No, I'm not hitting him! I was letting him sniff it and become acquainted.
So then last Sunday, my instructor pulled out her Abetta Wide Tree Saddle, and surprisingly, it fit him!!! So we all cheered and then I called it a day and went home.
Are you kidding??? Did you actually fall for that??? Of course I didn't go home...I got on mah horsie!!!
Oh, and I asked Mr. BGG to come and take pictures, and I don't like any of them...you'd think he had no interest in horses or anything, but I got a good picture of him!! Wanna see Mr. BGG?? I bet you do.
Here he is, with Altivo.
Ok, ok, here is one picture...proof that I actually rode him!!
When I ride him it's like sitting on the comfiest couch on earth, with an amazing view of the world. My bit and bridle hadn't arrived yet, so we left him in his halter. I wasn't sure he'd be ok with that, and it made directing him just a little more difficult, but overall he was very responsive. I'd like to go bit-less with him eventually, once I know more about what I'm doing and he is more familiar with me. Oh, and don't worry, my instructor was there the whole time to correct me, give instruction and advice, and to generally make sure I didn't hurt myself. She lunged him while I was on him so that I could feel his trot, and afterwards
Mr. Lazy Altivo was a little sweaty....out of shape horsie!!
I have more to say, but I'll put that in another post later tonight or tomorrow.