Cody – Now a riding horse

In a few short months, Cody has already reached the milestone of being a reliable general riding horse.

Nancy is riding him regularly now and I have put novice riders on him to give lessons.  While I am the only one cantering him at the moment, he is perfectly trustworthy at the walk and trot for anyone.  His response to leg pressure and changes in seat are better than most horses I have ridden after a much greater period of time in training, as he has picked up this part of this training at a remarkable rate. All he really needs now is time  under saddle, carrying a rider, to develop his balance to the point that it becomes as natural for him as the lesser gaits are currently.

Mentally he has proven to be just a steady as we first believed. Not just smart and a quick study, but also brave and confident. His response to new, potentially frightening things, is to stop and look for several seconds, mulling it over, then he just moves on. As long as you give him the short time he needs to process, you can pretty much count on him getting past it and never having the same issue again. Nancy says this particular trait has allowed her to come to trust this young horse very quickly.

I believe another trait that has helped Nancy form a trust bond with him is the fact that he has never come close to bucking or similar behavior. Even when pushed to do things that put his balance at risk, he has never reacted adversely. Instead he just keeps plugging away as he is told, apparently willing to trust the rider not to let him get hurt. As long as we never betray this trust, I predict his meteoric rise toward finished warhorse to continue.

Year Wrap-up Cody

We have only had Cody for a short time, but he has made great advancement in the time we have had. He is one of the faster learners I have ever had the pleasure of working with. In the last couple weeks his balance and collection have improved exponentially. This is due as much to his willingness to work and desire to please. He just tries so very hard and catches on so quickly. Add this to his superior conformation and you get an animal that takes to training much quicker than most.

In the coming months we will continue with his foundation training in balance and collection and will add an introduction to weapons use and the elements to medieval martial equitation. He has proven so far to be as brave a horse we have come to expect from the Morgan breed, so I expect great things from him.

I hope to have him ready for competition by the time the event season begins this year so that Nancy will finally have a mount of her own that is just as capable as any out there, that she can hopefully connect with and feel competitive on him.

Commander – First Impressions

Registered Name: Clearridge Commandercody

Dam: MLS My Heart’s Command
Born: 2007
Gender: gelding
Height: 14.3 currently, should finish at least 15 hands
Weight: About 850lbs. I suspect he will finish +1000lbs.
Conformation: Refined head, upright, powerful neck, slightly longer back, clean limbed, excellent feet, flexible pasterns. Over all I would rate him 90% perfect.
Commander Photo
Yes, he is very pretty.

The first thing you have to know about this gelding is; he responds to the name Commander, not Cody. 😉 This sort of sums up this boy in a nutshell.

He is calm and quiet, but not timid. He follows orders but looks at you evenly, with very large calm eyes, while doing so. He is not a big horse, but is not afraid of the much larger horses in the pasture.
We picked him up yesterday. He walked right into the trailer behind me, even though he didn’t know me from Adam. He rode back there alone for 45 minutes, then walked calmly out again into his new home.  The 7 horses on the property all called out excitedly and ran up to the fences to see him and though he was interested, he remained calm, following me quietly.
We moved the three mares out of the round pen pasture, just to make sure they didn’t cause problems for him as we put him in the round pen. I normally put new horses in there for a couple hours so everyone can see each other for awhile, before I turn them out with others.
Mercedes wasted little time in strutting down to meet the new pretty boy. What a hussy. She was flirting with him the second she got nose to nose with him. It was love at first sight, but for her, it usually is.
It took a while longer for Fonna and Bella to come down. Fonna really wasn’t all that interested. Since becoming lead mare she has seemed to hold herself above such things as flirting. Bella on the other hand, rushed the fence in full threat mode. She clearly intended to put this new horse in his place right off the bat. It didn’t quite work the way she planned however. Commander stood his ground and threatened right back, even rearing up.  I don’t think Bella is going to be able to push this guy around.
I spent some time in the round pen, moving him around a bit. It is immediately apparent that he is a very nice mover. His trot is smooth and has lovely extension, with good upward lift; not as high as Mercedes, but almost no horse steps as high as her. His canter shows better collection than I expected from a horse of his ages, especially a Morgan. Morgans tend to be a little heavier on the forehand. It is a factor of their conformation. They are heavier built through the chest and shoulders than most breeds. He was already flexing well while turning and shows impressive energy and agility.
He seems fairly self-possessed, not feeling any great need to be me when I was working with him or to run off and stand with Mercedes at the fence. He took directly without requiring a lot of pressure, but at the same time did not get over excited when I made him move.
We finally put him in a pasture with just Orion. The faced off for several minutes, nose to nose, necks arched massively. Commander seemed quite sure he was Orion’s equal and showed no sign of backing down, until the big guy wheeled and delivered a couple light warning kicks. The boy took the hint and took off. They both seemed satisfied with this and didn’t approach each other again while we where there. I don’t think Orion will pick on him. In fact I expect they will be good together.
All in all, a very impressive gelding. I am looking forward to starting to worth with him.