This first week I have been allowing Jupiter to get acquainted with his new surroundings and pasture mates. He seems to have settled in nicely with Mercedes and Zephyr in the same pasture, even during feeding. Bellatrix and Curly do give him dirty looks across the fence from time to time and Fonna seems to just ignore him for the most part. The horse he seems most comfortable with is Orion. They hang out at the fence together and from time to time I move them to a pasture of their own where they seem most content to just stay in sight of each other.
The only real excitement of the week came when the farrier came to trim feet. He showed a little late so I put Jupiter in the arena by himself to move around a bit. Jay showed up almost as soon as I closed the gate and since I didn’t want to have to catch Jupiter again right away, I decided to leave him there while we did the other three horses currently in need of foot work.
I got Mercedes out first and as soon as Zepher was left alone in the pasture, he started calling and running up and down the fence. Jupiter, who had been walking around calmly suddenly got quite energized and started running in full laps around the arena, alternating directions.
Now this is the first time I have been able to see him really move out and I must say he is most impressive. His movement reminds me a great deal of Orion’s, long, floating strides with a great deal of loft to them. He is naturally collected and very well balanced. I am really looking forward to putting him under saddle.
He continued to do laps while two horsed had their time with the farrier and only calmed down when we put Fonna away and brought Bella out to the tie rack. When Jay stared on her last foot, I went down to get him. By this time he was standing quietly at the gate but was quite sweaty and covered in sand where he had rolled in the arena. He was no longer breathing hard, but it was pretty clear he had worked himself pretty hard.
I tied him up at the tie rack and put Bella away, expecting Jay to start on him while I was gone. However, when I returned Jupiter was dancing around a little and Jay was obviously waiting for me to help. I got out a brush and started cleaning the sand off and after a few moments Jupiter was looking a lot calmer.
We had a few pull backs and jerking away of feet as the trimming process, but each time Jupiter was clearly looking to me to make things better and by the time we were finished he was standing completely quiet. So far the has been the most distressed Jupiter has seemed and he recovered very quickly. As an aside, Jay said Jupiter’s feet are excellent and will likely do just fine barefoot.
During his three round pen sessions since his arrival, Jupiter has taken to the “foundation training” well, standing to allow me to touch him anywhere I wished, moving off pressure lightly and taking gait and directional cues while free lunging after just a short time. He is very smart and willing; reminding me in many ways of Orion when I began this same training with him, though Orion was much younger.
Taken as a whole, it was a good first week despite my being sick. Next week I will try to complete the foundation ground work and begin driving and introduction to the saddle, if he continues to pick things up as fast as he has so far.