It's in their genes

 I'm finding it interesting to compare the two boys, Jake and Spike, and their genetic predispostion for their careers. 
Jake is the prankster. He has been that way since day one, with a little twinkle in his eye that asks, how can I make this more fun? He's missing his third incisor tooth on the top, no doubt from skidding into an immovable object while travelling at high speed and not paying attention. The more I hang around Jake, the more I understand his mother, Tatti. Jake inherits his sense of humour honestly. I remember not being entirely comfortable riding her through her early years, a time when she earned the nickname 'Scooter' because of her propensity to launch forward with no warning, usually when you were relaxing in the saddle while she grazed. People wonder why I always hang onto the saddle horn when my horse is grazing, and it's because of Tatti. 
Getting back to Jake though, he's been a handful to handle. He likes to rear and buck and play. I feel pretty safe when I'm ponying him but leading him is another story. It will affect what I do with him this summer for training, working around safety issues while still moving forward with his education. I can see that we will be doing a lot of ponying with his pal Cody, and trailer training as well, again, with Cody or Tatti. But as for showing, I'm not ready for that much adventure!
Then there's Spike. He's an absolute doll around the barn but when he gets outside his comfort zone he likes to strike. He doesn't necessarily aim, just protests with his front foot, like an anxiety meter. I'm more inclined to take him in hand to new places than his field-mate Jake. It speaks to genetics: Spike comes from a long line of show horses and it shows in his temperament. He's content to hang out in a stall, where Jake would be impatient. Spike is cautious about new things, taking his time to think about them. Jake, on the other hand, will be the ultimate Xtreme Cowboy competition horse. He'll be happy to go flat out with a yeehaw thrown in for fun. He's bold and smart. Bred for a purpose, those boys. I think it's important to recognize the genetic factor - it makes training so much easier when they're doing a job they were born to do.

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