Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007 @ 9:09 am
I've spent more than sixteen hours working with six different horses (Lilly, Warden, Wesley, Spotlight, Sally, and Patrick) in the last six days. The bulk of those hours were of course with Patrick on my own on and around the Kings Land Ranch. The others were across the highway at the therapeutic riding stable.
Patrick has already helped me a lot. He has taught me to be more assertive, and he has brought me into contact with some genuinely caring people. We go out onto the trails, and I work him out through walk-trot and trot-canter transitions more for my benefit than his, though he has been at rest for quite some time too. On one deserted straight stretch I went up into two-point and twisted his mane into my fists and let... him... go. Three-beat canter moving into four-beat gallop. His heavy breathing with each stride. I pull him back and sit deep into the saddle. He's excited and prances and snorts and I'm smiling for the first time in so long.
I'm smiling. And I lead Wesley around the arena while Jen beams from up on his back. He's a wonderful horse, quick and bright, and he goes willingly for me. Everyone is surprised at his good behavior. He's been nothing but good for me. I want to think I understand horses better than others, but it's not true. I have a hard time working with truly naughty horses. It's the ones that are scared, the ones that don't understand what is wanted of them, that I have success with. If a horse is willing then I can work with it. If the horse has become frustrated and is no longer willing then I am stumped.
Do you have your own horse? The girls always ask.
Well, actually, sort of yes!