Despite the unfortunate boo-boo from the trailer ride to the clinic, Petey did amazing at his second cowboy dressage clinic. He felt more relaxed this time, and I had some wonderfully kind feedback from other participants that validated what I felt. Yes, of course, we still have room for improvement, but that will surely never stop. Looking back at where we started, we are making progress and having fun. I’m going to go with “if it feels good to you, it feels just as good to your horse” to explain how I can say that “we” were having fun. When Petey and I first met, I enjoyed working with him very much, although I wouldn’t have classified it as fun. I am also feeling that we are becoming a team and working together. This shows progress.

I love what I am learning about the philosophy of cowboy dressage. One of the biggest components is something described as “soft feel”. Petey and I are working toward achieving this together. We both have things to learn, and old habits to break on this journey of harmony. I am very grateful that not only is Petey willing to venture forth with me, I have some quality instruction and support as we go. Sometimes, things are confusing. I am still not all the way convinced that I can get the big brown thoroughbred to do something called a working jog, and I am willing to give it a chance and see. Even if our execution of different movements isn’t textbook, I can see so much value in the act of working toward them.

No doubt that he is getting more comfortable in his body. I am doing the best that I can to aid him in his recovery from kissing spine. Being allowed to move about and having hilly terrain has helped immensely with how Petey uses his body. Now my hope is to have him enjoy riding as Phil describes his horses do. I think we are off to a good start, and I am willing to bet that Petey is beginning to think so, too. Yes, Petey, I Promise To…….keep going! (After all, Petey is really PT, short for Promise To.)

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