Royal's been mostly good. We had a couple sessions on the ground this week where he seemed really calm and connected. I've been using the strategy of letting him run out his adrenaline using the "Let Me Help You" technique. It works really well for Right Brain Extroverts. Basically, if your horse is just full to the brim of adrenaline like Royal tends to be, you send them out on the circle, and encourage them to speed up for a full circle by smacking the ground with your stick and string. Not in a harsh or mad way, just in a "c'mon, you got get the tickle out of your feet" sort of way. Let them run for three laps, and if they don't slow down or try to connect with you, encourage them again for a lap, and repeat until they connect. Now it only takes one or two times for Royal to stop and look at me like "now what?" So, that's encouraging.
Today, it was a bit of a different story. I wanted to ride in the back pasture where the horses have been for the past few weeks, figuring that he'd been okay with everything. It was very hot and humid and I wanted to keep things simple. Royal, however, was of the very strong opinion that the tree and the cows in the neighboring pasture were GOING TO EAT HIM. And I was off the very strong opinion that NO, THEY WERE NOT. And we had a very spirited discussion about that, with Royal wanting to channel his inner llama and gambol about with his head in the air, and me insisting that he travel around like a sane horse. So we mostly followed the rail, which the occasional-partial-disengagement-spiraling-into-full-disengagement circle when he started to ignore me. It took a while and both of us got pretty sweaty, but in the end, he stretched out and trotted around smoothy, rhythmically, and relaxed. Which makes me feel good about Roebke's Run next weekend. It'll be our first year there, and I have no idea what to expect. So, being able to help Royal get out of a RB fit at home makes me feel better about doing it there.
In other news:
(Sorry about the Spanish subtitles. I couldn't find a version without them) I've been running! I've almost completed week 3 (of 10) of the Couch to 5K program, and so far it's gone (mostly) well. I actually started back in May, but when I got sick, I had to stop for a few weeks, and then I had to start all over again. But, despite the bumps, the programs working well. What helped was finally joining a gym and using a treadmill to pace myself. My problem when I tried running before was that I would run too fast during the run intervals and burn myself out too quickly into it. But using the treadmill and jogging at 4 mph helps me to pace myself and not get too tired. So far I'm up to 3 continuous minutes of running with walk breaks in between, and next week is 5 minutes of running. Eep, Eventually I have to run for 20 whole minutes. Double Eep.
But if other people can run marathons, I can do this.