A non-update update to basically say all is quiet*.
The vet is scheduled to come out on Monday to check on Subi and do his teeth. Hopefully we’ll have a better ideas as to what’s going on with his eyes (cataracts, uveitis, etc.).
That said, we seem to have come to an understanding. My trainer suggested leading him with my cellphone’s flashlight so I tried that last Thursday and when I shined the light on the ground, he immediately dropped his head to follow the light and his body relaxed. Since then? Everything has improved. It’s as if I finally GET what’s going on. Since Sunday (well, Saturday since I brought them in early), I’ve also had daylight on my side and he’s been even easier to deal with. Relaxed, happy, and comfortable.
In fact, we haven’t had any issues since all of our leading now happens during daylight hours. I do notice though that he tries to identify ever sound he hears. Stop. Stare. Breathe. Reassure. Walk on. He’s reared once since Thursday when he spooked at something (I was carrying a bucket of food AND rushing AND setting us up for failure) and jumped once when Batty spooked (a separate time), but otherwise? He’s been great. He did walk into the barn wall 2 nights ago so there’s definitely some vision stuff going on. Still, now that I know I’m dealing with something and he seems to get that I’m helping him? Everything is working out.
I also removed the chain and switched him to this snazzy new halter and he’s a lot happier. I wasn’t happy with the rope halter by itself (getting it on and off quickly was an issue plus I had some other issues), but this seems to be the best of both worlds. Overpriced, yes, but definitely worth it.
I also had my first lesson back on Ranger last week. After a month without lessons (just riding) it was nice to have instruction, but my brain was on overload. I did better with my lines vs singles AFTER lines. So… I had issues maintaining pacing. When I rode on my own I just worked on singles and MAYBE connecting a couple singles together, but…
I also did a thing and bought a new pair of boots…
*By quiet I mean sort of kind of not dramatic but not sleepy either? OK?