It was session number two for Tom Forehand and his three year-old blue roan gelding, aptly named Blue. Forehand began the session by allowing Blue to re-establish himself in the arena and by assessing Blue's behaviour.
"Blue is a very kind, willing, calm horse," Forehand said during his session. "He really wants to be next to me." As they worked throughout the session, Forehand used a different sacking out methods, including used his rope, brushes and the saddle pad to acclimatize Blue.
While the gelding was continued to be quiet with the handling, he began loping and bucking when Forehand's rope was around his girth area. Blue recovered quickly, however, and Tom then began working toward bridling him. "He's certainly not headshy," he said. "His problem comes when you start to move in his mouth." The pair worked on bridling until Forehand determined it was time to change direction. "As a horseman, I'm going to have to figure out the timing and choose the time that will be right for him," Forehand said.
When it came time for saddling, Blue was undisturbed with the process. To end the session, Forehand got on the horse, using the lead rope tied to the halter for direction control. "It's so important with a young horse to read and establish what he's ready for," he said. "And it's important to know when to end the session."
Forehand will have his third session later this afternoon. For more coverage of the Trainer's Challenge, visit www.equinelyinclined.com.