Friday, August 19, 2011

Sideways canter? Beware!!!

What a great rider!! Holy Smokes!  I knew they were in trouble when I saw the sideways canter, which i think is always a sign that a horse has come close to the breaking point. Wowser!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Embracing a friend.........

I have a habit of hugging Pippi. Just wrapping my arms around her warm, smooth, graceful neck, and hugging for as long as she lets me. When the hug is over, she pulls away, and I joke about how smart she is. I always smile at her and say; "you are so smart Pippi, you always know first when the hug is over," and then I pet her a few times.
But last night she didn't know first. So we stood there, my arms around her neck, my cheek against her warm fur, and the moment lasted. She bent her neck around me, and we stood there breathing and feeling together for a long time. The feeling of peace almost choking me, and the connection between us so tender and soft. We stood there, equine and human, hugging for a small eternity.
She needed a hug, and I did too. Not just a hug, but an embrace between two beings that had a bad day; Pippi with a new really mean Alpha Mare, and me with a bad day at work.

There is no telling how long we would have stood there, neither of us at all ready to let go, but another horse bumped his gate, interrupting the moment. And it was probably a good thing as Pippi had forgotten it was her job to end the hugs. Because normally she is the one to know that the hug is over.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Patience gets Rewarded!

Anyone who goes to horse shows, whether you show or not, have seen a horse and rider having ugly moments. The horse refusing fences, hopping around or refusing entry into the show ring. Barrel racers not getting their horses to move forward to even trip the timer, or knocking down every pole when pole bending. Those moments are heartbreaking for most, but for some spectators it seems to be rather fun. You know what I am talking about; they smirk and whisper to each other, roll their eyes, and are so clearly enjoy the downfall of a competitor.
Pippi and Daughter have been the horse and rider with more ugly moments than I can count, and we have had to suffer the indignities of the "superior" riders and their "superior" mounts for a few years now. Well meaning people have even taken the time to tell me that Daughter just needs a different horse, and that Pippi just "can't do it." One person even stated that Pippi was dangerous after watching her not want to enter the arena. Meanwhile we kept holding out hope, being patient and knowing that one day "at home Pippi" would go to a show.
Just to be clear: Pippi NEVER kicked out at us, has NEVER bitten us, NEVER deliberately thrown Daughter, and NEVER truly bucked or reared. She just refused to comply at shows.At home she would jump beautifully, but at shows she would become robotic and quietly refuse to comply. Our farrier, who has extensive experience with horses from Pippi's line, kept telling us to be patient. They have one million and two questions, he would say, and one day they have all the answers and overnight she will be a horse that everyone will want. For two years we held on, and for two years we held our heads high, and suffered the indignities of the smirks.
The day CAME!!!!!

We knew we had turned a corner when she did really well at our local show a few weeks ago. Pippi was just different. She looked at the other horses, tried to eat grass, and just looked relaxed. And they placed in every class they entered. She was just about flawless. The following weekend we went to a BIG show, well, bigger show anyway. And as you can see above Pippi and Daughter killed it. Ending up with Reserve Grand Champion in the 2' division. YAY!!!!

So what have we learned? We know who our friends are, for those people truly reveled in the success and went out of their way to congratulate and in some cases even admit to having had misgivings. They stated they were so happy for Daughter, and praised her for sticking with Pippi and for all her hard work. And we know who our Acquintances are too, for they did not applaud after quietly booing for two years.

I am proud and secretly think "HA -HA!" But mostly I am just really happy for Daughter, and for Pippi who now inhabits her own self with poise and confidence. I hated seeing her so nervous, so locked up and so insecure.

Doing well is its own reward, but having ribbons to show those that snubbed is really great too.