The great thing about it being the end of the season AND having taken all the pressure off Archie is when I went out of town for four days, I went “meh, he gets turnout, he’ll be fine” and just… left. I know my trainer would tell me if anything seemed off, but I didn’t think Archie would really care about having a mini fall break of his own.
To give some background, Archie isn’t hot. Or truly ‘spooky’. He’s actually super brave (almost… too brave, ahem, when he thinks he’s going to FIGHT xc jumps). What he is though, is a little ADHD. His brain goes Mach 1 at all times and he notices everything. A stream of consciousness from him would go something like, “What that? Why that person there? Who reset that jump? Why is that jump blue? What are the velocity forces of jumping an oxer? Do you like jumping oxers? That change in arena footing looks weird. Oh, a truck driving by. It’s black. Do you have a black truck? I think you need a black truck. White trucks are concerning. LOOK AT THAT ROLLTOP HOW DARE IT BE THERE I WANT TO BITE IT. I can’t bite it? Well, FINE THEN I AM LEAVING YOU ARE THE WORST MOM EVER I HATE YOU”
It’s exhausting. You have to maintain total neutrality amidst the drama. Once you’re jumping, his brain quiets down.. some. But flatwork? ADHD 1st grader at Disney World
When I got to the barn last night, I had a moment of “uhoh” when I realized it was 50 degrees, raining and my horse hadn’t been ridden in almost a week. So, I tacked up, threw him on the lunge line and figured I’d see what I had.
Well, what I had was a horse who was content to trot around like a show hunter, but had absolutely zero interest whatsoever in going any faster. It took everything in me to get him to go canter a circle and even that was a pathetic little canter. He kept looking at me like, “MOM Y THO?” so I shrugged, grabbed the mounting block and hopped on.
For as alert as this horse is about everything (seriously, his mind goes 150 mph at ALL TIMES), he was downright lazy. Tried to western pleasure jog around. Only wanted to walk. Cantering is like, OMG SO HARD OK.
I ended up with a quick 30 minute ride where I reinstalled the go button and called it a day, but I’m so happy that even after his fall break, a decent drop in temperatures and being solo in the dark (we were inside, but it was dark out) Archie is apparently mostly confused about why vacation is over.