Here’s the latest update on Alli, FKA Allied Invasion, from his owner, Claire.
I read an OTTB post a few weeks ago that really captured what Allī has taught me. “Your horse doesn’t wear a watch. So, he’s in no hurry.” Allī has taught me the patience of a walk warm-up. He definitely has an opinion about walking easily for 10 minutes, on a loose rein and a gentle supporting leg before he’s ready to “get to work.” I’ve learned to just let him walk without any pressure first. I might halt softly and then ask for an upward transition a few times during the warm-up. I get much further in my ride if I allow for the lighter touch, rather than demanding he move off my leg immediately. Otherwise, he just resists. (This is new for me because my other OTTB preferred you be strong in the beginning to help him warm up.)
Trust the process
I’ve also learned that he will make great progress and then have a week where he goes backwards. This has also taught me to trust his process, back down a step or two, and let him build his confidence again. Once I accepted this is how he learns, these backward slides are fewer and we move forward again in no time. He is also a horse I have learned to be persistent when he isn’t listening. If I am patient and keep asking, he will acquiesce. If I give in to him, I will be having the same argument with him for a week.
Cold weather interruption
We’ve had some bitterly cold weather here in New Jersey this past week. So, I elected to work on ground work, rather than riding. Expectedly, my first ride back in a week, he was definitely up, but he did well once he allowed himself to relax and move forward. Allī LOVES trot pole configurations. I try to have a different configuration every day. It keeps him fresh, and it’s a great way to engage his mind while we are working in the indoor. Allī also loves lateral work. He has a mean turn on the haunches.
I’ve also treated him for ulcers once more. He was exhibiting signs around Thanksgiving. Upon the vet’s recommendation, I also added Purina Outlast to his diet. It made an immediate difference in both his weight and demeanor. He’s not as mouthy on the ground. It also made his coat gleam even more. I am grateful to Allī every day. He is such a personality, and I am enjoying the partnership.
Many thanks to Claire for this terrific and thorough update. To read Alli’s previous update, please click here.