Petey and I are heading to Indiana in April to ride in a clinic with Bryan Neubert. I am so excited about this, and am very sure that if Petey know how much I was going to learn and become a better horse person, he’d be excited too! Scheduling this big event has added some pressure for me, since our annual Kentucky trip will begin only two days after we return home. One of my goals is to keep that pressure down not only for me, but for my horses, too. I do take full responsibility for being the weakest link in the equation.
Recently, I viewed a dvd of Bryan working with a wild mustang at a horse expo. It succeeded in getting me more inspired to go to the clinic, and helped me be able to let some of the stress go. I will revisit that emotional space as often as I can. I am in awe of what and how Bryan interacts with horses, and really loved when he talked about making it easier for the horse and for the human to capitalize on what’s already in the horse. He was referring to their desire to connect with us. Can’t wait to hear more in person!
Today when I loose lunged Petey in the indoor arena, he was stretching down at the trot a lot. That is such great news because in my very brief internet search of kissing spine, getting the horses to stretch over the topline was one of the most recommended treatments for the ailment. This condition is what ended Petey’s jumping career and allowed us to form our partnership. I am committed to helping him be as comfortable as I can.
I had put my jacket on him before I asked him to move around the arena. There was no signs of discomfort today. After I haltered him back up, I brought the jacket back out. I put it up on his back, and Petey stood still this time. I did that from both sides, and he stood still. However, I noticed something else I thought I’d like to have be different. When he had my jacket on, Petey’s nose was tipped away from me. His eyes didn’t have the troubled look in them, but they didn’t have the soft look I love to see. I moved him around the arena wearing the jacket. We did circles and some cross over behinds. Eventually, he snorted, shook and did lots of licking and chewing. Now, he could tip his nose my way, and the soft look in his eye was there. Good boy, Petey! (Maybe he’s enjoying my assortment of jackets. Instead of the emperor’s new clothes, we’ve got Petey’s.)