The excitement of standing still

There hasn’t been much horse news here lately because there’s really been nothing happening except routine trail rides and hound walks. And, with the real acid test fast approaching with the beginnng of hunt season less than a week away, maybe I shouldn’t jinx myself by bragging about Crossbo’s performance in such mundane events. But I can’t resist just a little brag.

This weekend I said I never thought standing still could be so much fun. Unlike most other horses I’ve hunted, who were usually somewhat deficient in the braking department, Crossbo seems to have a good combination of go and whoa. He’s forward when he needs to be, but it’s no problem to pull him up with other horses passing him, and he stands nicely without fidgeting at checks. Whoever took him off the track must have done a good job of re-programming him (or maybe he just never had the racing mentality).

Of course, nothing we’ve done yet matches the adrenaline level of a real hunt, so there’s no guarantee that his sanity will hold up to that. But so far, he’s given me no reason to doubt. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed, and blowing the dust off the Ace bottle. My original plan was to try hunting chemical-free at first to see if we could avoid it. But I’ve considered some reasonable advice that taking the edge off for his first couple of hunts and letting him absorb the experience calmly, and then weaning him if possible, would be a better idea than risking having him go bonkers at first and then trying to fix a problem that would have been easier to prevent.

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