What I don't get a kick out of, is when folks ask me what he is because they couldn't figure it out, based on his movement. Yes, it is an opportunity to talk about Standardbreds. But it is always coming from the place of "Oh we thought he was a weird warmblood or something" Yes, weird. No, not a warmblood.
I harbor a secret dream - one in that Ben moves so "normally" that no one picks up on the fact that he's different. One in which we can walk, trot, and canter, and that no one gives him a passing glance due to the differences in his gaits.
I'm not sure that that day will ever come. But by God, we're working on it. We've been working hard over the last 10 months, and it is cool to watch the progress being made. I try to blog about it as often as I can, so I can look back and re-read those moments that were good, bad, and downright ugly. But nothing compares to SEEING the progress. I don't often get the chance to record rides, but last night I asked my trainer to video his canter work to the right, as he's learning a bit of collection. And so without further ado, I present to the blogosphere 3 videos of our 10 month progress of right-lead-canter:
November 27, 2015. Big arena (100x200) - cannot sit on his back, cannot do smaller than a 90 foot circle:
April 2, 2016. 5 months later - regulation dressage arena. I can sit on him, at least.
August 24, 2016. 60 ft indoor arena, which generally really works against Ben - he gets sucked onto those walls and generally goes much better outdoors. Nevertheless - I can sit, and I can ask him to collect and take jumpier steps.
Hopefully, by November 27, 2016, essentially 3 months from now, I will have new video to complete the year. And with a little luck, even more progress will be shown.