Below are 3 videos of Pikasso, an 18-year-old Hanoverian, that I have had in sales training for the last 6 months. I have known him for years. Katie, his original owner, started as a student and quickly became a friend. When she needed to sell Pikasso, Abby, another student, bought him. Abby had some lifestyle changes, and Pikasso contracted Lymes--between the two, Abby wasn't having fun anymore, so decided to sell him. After 6 months of me riding him and trying to sell him (why does everyone want a baby instead of a schoolmaster??? Horses don't become wise teachers until they have a few years on them....but that's another soapbox...), Abby has remembered why she fell in love with Pikasso in the first place, and decided to keep him.
So that's the back story. As a trainer, this horse amazes me. Below are 4 videos - two in May, one in July, and the third one last weekend. He has changed so much in 6 months. Yes, he has the body to do dressage, but that's not why he has came back to 100%. He has made his amazing comeback because of his terrific character. Pikasso is always trying his best, and because of that, even when the work was really, really hard, he persevered.
If you want to see this blog as shameless self-promotion, go ahead, but I see it as a tribute to a horse who wanted to do the work, and the work made him sounder and more beautiful.
I'm going to start at the beginning - here's a link to two videos of Pikasso at the end of May.
In these videos, you can see how weak his back and left hind leg are. He wants to carry his hind legs under his tail instead of under his tummy, and because of his weakness, breaks in the middle in the half halts. You can also see his character, he's going to try to get the job done, because I'm asking him to. That's Pikasso.
By July, he had made such good progress, we shot some more video. His back and hindquarters are much stronger, and he is starting to show some suspension. His left hind is still weaker, but not nearly as significant as in May. His canter has really changed - much more cadenced and uphill.
Then there's Saturday's video. The thing that struck me most in this video is how he looks so solid, like one horse. He's back to being the awesome dressage horse he was before Lyme's. Plus Doug got a new video editing program, so this video has a nifty, new intro.