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Riding Again

Yesterday I was finally able to actually ride my Peruvian Paso Maximiliano again. All the desensitizing and being all over him rubbing, tapping and otherwise treating him like a big teddy while whispering in his ear seems to have had the desired effect. I was able to mount completely and he did not move. Only after I gave the signal his feet started to move. There we go. He did remember what changing weight in the stirrups means but he still wants to get into his preferred gait instead of just walk slowly.

Peruvian Paso horses move in a different way than other horses. Regular - non-gaited - horses walk, trot, canter and then gallop. Peruvians walk, then go into a faster walk called paso llano, followed by another much faster walk called sobreandando and then eventually gallop. With my Peruvian Paso mare Topacio in Panama I was fortunate enough to enjoy this walking horse sensation. It is like flying. You just go faster and faster but still it’s a very smooth and relaxing ride. There is no abrupt change between the different speeds. This video shows nicely how it looks like.

Maximiliano - even during round-penning - wants to go at the paso llano. The paso llano is the gait that allows these horse to cover long distances without getting tired. So he must feel most comfortable at that pace. Still it is important to teach him at a slower walk. Simply because the faster he moves, the more abrupt - and dangerous - misunderstandings can materialize.

We need to work on that next. Step by step.

Max on the other hand is a totally different character. He is like a young child with too much energy. He is just about 3 years old. When I took him out for a lesson he needed to disburse all that extra energy. So he started to jump around and was unwilling to go in circles. That of course cannot be tolerated. He needs to learn to respect humans and be calm around them. So it took about 10 minutes to get that clear between us. “You don’t want to behave? I make you run.” always works. After that he was a different horse trotting around in the circle and changing directions following my hand signals.