I've been going to physical therapy for what seems like months now and it doesn't look like the end is in sight anytime soon. Since it's taking up so much of my time right now, I thought I'd post about the incident that set these wheels in motion.
To do this we need to go back about twenty years. I was trying to put some miles on Dave's Arabian gelding, Aidol, so Dave could do some trail riding with the horse.
Aidol was the first foal for Scandalous. He was one of the first foals of the halter stallion, Aikon's first foal crop. Aidol was the biggest fanciest of the colts born that year. The horse had won Dave's heart the first time Dave laid eyes on him as about 4 months of age.
Aidol had been shown as a three year old in mostly futurity classes. He did quite well considering he had little time under saddle. The horse actually earned enough that year to pay all of his expenses. Not bad for a horse that had less than ninety days under saddle when he hit his first horse show.
That show was the Daffodil All Arabian Horse Spring Show. There were something like 25 horses in that western pleasure futurity class. Purebred Arabian horses 3, 4 and 5 year old were eligible to compete. Most of those horses were older. People didn't seem to want to put up the futurity money unless they were sure the horse was really ready. Aidol's first nomination payment was probably made when he was just getting started under saddle.
The horse that won, Sundaes Hot Fudge, was a 5 year old with two years in the show ring. Aidol was reserve with his 90 days of riding. He was ridden in the junior horse class at that show for his first ring experience. The futurity was his second class ever. The horse that placed third was a 4 year old with one year in the ring. That 4 year old, RRF Taylormade, ended up being the Canadian and US National Champion Western Pleasure Junior Horse that year.
I guess you can tell Aidol was (and still is) a good minded, talented horse. After his brief but stellar show season, Aidol came home to our farm. He was to be Dave's horse once he had enough miles on him but he just kind of hung out for a while because Lindsay got sick.
I rode him a few times but nothing enough to be putting the kind of miles on the horse needed for the greeny Dave to ride. I decided that maybe schooling the horse on some trail obstacles might give him the extra experience necessary to get Dave into the saddle and out on the trails. Dealing with that "fear" factor can be an effective substitute for miles with some horses.
With the kind of mind Aidol seemed to have I was betting that would be the case with him. After all, when Dave had been building those trail obstacles for me, Aidol was one of the horses climbing on the bridge as Dave was still adding boards to the top surface. Even though playing with the obstacles and doing them on command isn't the same thing I was pretty sure this experiment was going to be right up Aidol's alley.
I built all kinds of obstacles out in our back pasture. I had an L shaped back through made of railroad ties, an assortment of serpentines with cones, lope overs, a small jump, a gate, that bridge and even a water box. Aidol and I were set for some big horse school.
I was looking forward to it and I think Aidol was too. He had really loved his time in the show ring and the attention being trained brings. The horse had clearly been feeling a bit neglected at just hanging out in the field.
To be continued....................
Aidol and the Gate
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