My first horse was Jasper a 5 year old cob who was the most caring and fabulous horse, we were together for over 20 years. We explored the countryside together entered some little competitions and he let me hug him loads.
When Jasper slowed up I had a wonderful horse called Stanley, he was a big Irish sport horse he knew how to go forward!!! and he knew how to jump. He didn’t do it slowly I had to trust that he would sort it out much of the time. The dealer who sold him to me had recently shipped him over from Ireland, he told me he had hunted but he was only around 5 years old he had a ‘Look at me’ look about him, he looked right at you.
I was never as brave as him and although I clung on cross country ( which was his favorite thing ) we didn’t tackle anything too big. I enjoyed doing this with him and taking him out jumping as this was the thing he enjoyed most. Apart from when I would take him alone to the forest and gallop up a path we both loved, it was always better alone as no one else could keep up. It was perfect as it was uphill so I knew we would stop at the top.
Jasper and Stanley they were the best of friends.
After Stanley I rode Millie who loved the arena, taught me to ask a mare politely and didn’t like galloping up hills much but taught me loads about dressage. Then came Mitch a beautiful dark brown ex race horse, he taught me about turning a horse into a friend and family pet. Finding the thing my horses enjoy has always lead into whatever we have done, I tend to go with what they like to offer.
Now after all this along came Noo noo a fireball four year old Lusitano she was to give me the greatest lesson of all.
She has taught me I knew nothing and she has taught me about me.
As a young horse I thought she should experience a little of everything to find out what she liked. She was much like Millie in that she really didn’t get excited about running across fields. She went to training evenings going over poles and trying out jumping again she didn’t really go for it in an animated way. We did some dressage but it was either wonderful or she spooked at everything.
It has turned out what she is good at and enjoys is interacting with people, having a close relationship with me, loving the grandchildren’s attention, liberty dancing and riding.
This week I put some poles out and making this part of our time together at liberty has turned it into something she is really enjoying now, so long as we enjoy it together. As she has discovered this new fun thing done in companionship she now does it with me on her back with the same enthusiasm. She has been the best teacher of relationship.
This has also helped us with picking our feet up. After one of my conversations with Carolyn Resnick where we discuss the Waterhole Rituals but also dressage, often Carolyn will remind me about having “Pick and Push” in equal amounts. So having a connection and enjoying companionship and fun at liberty can actually help with dressage! or indeed anything your horse and you wish to enjoy together.
Finding the fun for both of you and accommodating each other while enjoying each other’s company. What could be better. I am now learning from Maya as well and discovering what she likes.
Wishing you fun and companionship with your horses.