Royal is just an awesome little mare. She's lazy as heck and prefers to just putz around at half speed walk, but will move out nicely when asked. I found out that when running barrels (only loping right now) she has to be pushed right up until the last second, because as soon as I stop pushing, she rates and turns. She doesn't care where the barrel is. She is the ratiest horse I have ever been on. She does a beautiful pattern when pushed through it. But I found out she also doubles as a babysitter. And she's GREAT at it! My fiances son, who's 10, was in a bad accident with a horse almost 2 years ago. The horse broke his leg in two places and broke his finger. Since then, he has been terrified of horses. As in if they so much as blink without him telling him to, he will scream and start crying. He rode his dad's ex roping horse a few times and if the horse walked too fast, he locked up on the horn so bad he couldn't pull on the reins to stop him. For some reason, he fell in love with Royal. Both my horses are staying at my fiances and I'm told that the boy gives her a hug and talks to her every morning before school. So I convinced him to ride her. This horse does. not. care. She will not move past the walk unless you make her. She will just putz down the trail in her own little world. At first he refused to ride alone and needed me to pony him. But I finally got him to ride alone and he was so happy! She didn't put a foot out of line. The only thing that scared him was when she shook. I guess he thought she was going to buck. But he got over it quickly. At one point on their first ride, he got annoyed that he kept having to kick her top walk faster. So he have her a big kick and kissed at her. She broke into a trot and he started yelling "LOOK! I'M TROTTING! I MADE HER TROT!" It was so awesome to see him enjoy riding a horse. This happened 3 weeks ago. Last week we went to Bandera state park. A 5000 acre riding park in the hill country. We got turned around on a trail and the ride ended up being 6 hours. They did GREAT. He only needed help once, and it was when the trail got really rocky and he panicked because he didn't want her to jump or rush. She didn't try anyways. But at the end of the ride he informed me that if she didn't make a good barrel horse, I could just give Royal to him. He wouldn't mind. He would even trade me his dad's horse for Royal. Lol I couldn't be more proud of her. Pictures in the next post.