Hagrid, oh Hagrid! In typical baby horse form Hagrid has those days where he thinks this is all foolishness and his time is much better spent eating the grass, or better yet, making sure that wiley round bale doesn't try to run away. Best to hold it down with his mouth. But then there are those days where all of the gears are working and he says, "Oh yes, I remember this bit!" and I get a halt transition when I ask for it or we actually turn left from my seat.
The days where it's good right now are less than when we have fussy babyitis but I have to keep reminding myself thatthis is all normal. With these big horses I think it is so easy for us to forget that they are still just babies. New to the world of leather and arenas and stupid little wooden poles you have to skip over rather than plow through. Size does not equate to maturity and Hagrid reminds me of that a lot. He is allowed to have his baby phase even if he is 17.3 hands tall and weighs about as much as my truck. He is teaching me that size does not matter.
Currently we are working walk, trot and canter in the arena with circles, leg yields and sometimes figure eights. For the most part he is agreeable but every once in a while we have supersonic speed trot down the long sides or a kitten in the trees will spook us off across the diagonal in a mighty (though quite slow) gallop. I make myself laugh and talk to him whilst this happens because he is not William (yet). He doesn't yet know that this isn't necessary or how we act under saddle. I don't want him to ever feel scared of being scared or that he has gotten away with something. This is the stage where whatever he does I have to act like I asked for it. Cutting off that short end entirely? Yes, great idea. Ooookay, lets go right instead of left? Sure thing buddy! I change my aids to match what he is giving me and going along for the ride, so to speak. When I feel like I can influence him, I do try. I'm not completely passive up there but there is no sense in forcing something to come through that simply will not.
I am counting down the days until May. Big baby giant will be accompanying William and I to work with our trainer, Felicitas. I am beyond excited to take him and get her expert eye and opinion on where to go and what to do next. I'm a little nervous what everyone will think of my big boy. He's not a dainty warmblood, hell he's not a tank of a warmblood. He's a super tank with something special on the inside I think.
Here is our latest "best ride ever" and I'm so happy with this day:
I have to watch this video when we have the days where he pretends my seat means nothing to him or he just wants to run and bounce off all the walls in the arena. It's in there and I just have to be patient; greatness does not happen over night!