I was talking to Jessica Leigh recently and of course our talk turned to Rosco (Docs Dream). Now Rosco was a top Western Pleasure horse in his day but when I first met him in his teens he had become very bored and resentful - he didn't like his job and was sour, very sour indeed!
When I started working with Rosco many years ago, I primarily worked him on Trail. He was very talented and very athletic - a natural for Trail. As we progressed together, this horse who was so used up mentally got a new lease on life! Jessica showed him Trail for several years and he always did very well, often winning his classes unanimously. I always thought Rosco was National caliber though unfortunately we never had the opportunity to take him to Paint or Pinto Worlds.
Rosco is now in his late 20s and retired, he's living a very good life. He and Jessica go out on the trails often and he really enjoys it. But..... here's the really cool thing: When Jessica occasionally sets out poles for a Trail obstacle, Rosco's ears go up and he happily works the poles - still not touching a thing!
The lesson learned here is that sometimes you need to move on to something else. Horses change just as we do and often they like to do something different to keep them motivated or mentally engaged. If your horse seems bored or sour - try a change. Make sure it's something your horse can physically do and that you're interested in too and maybe you'll both get a new lease on life like Rosco! See you next week. JD