Spending the over a year now working with Armani, I've become accustomed to the 5-steps-forward-1-step-back pattern our training has developed. Over time I know we've made real progress, and our supportive friends have been encouraging (more on that in a coming post).
Over the year, I've thought a lot about Armani's personality and how to adjust his training to suit. Armani has more personality than any other horse I've worked with long-term (which is not to say that I'm very experienced). It certainly is hard to try to summarize the personality of a creature that I've spent a lot of time with. But for the sake of a reader who doesn't have the pleasure of knowing him, I'll try. He has a few primary characteristics:
Some of these certainly seem like impossible juxtapositions. But it's these dueling forces that make Armani such an exciting horse to work with. I cannot be certain what Armani will bring each day. On our 1-step backward days, a few of these forces can combine into an explosive mix. However, as a year has gone by, he has matured. I can sense his personality growing and changing.
I've signed him up for training 1 day a week all winter with our instructor. They've had 3 sessions together so far, and already she's raised her expectations for him, and reminded me that I need to do the same.
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