Listening

First, thank you for all your kind words on my last post about the clinic. I think maybe part of my issue is that I’m really at a point of uncharted territory with my riding as an adult. As a kid I was told what I was capable of and what the budget was so that’s what I did. As an adult I was limited by my horse until Maestro. Obviously Maestro is still on the younger side and in some ways inexperienced but it’s now up to me to propel us and decide where to go with riding. The horse has the ability to do pretty much any of the reasonable things I dream of doing if I want to make them happen. Definitely has me thinking!

Anyways, what I wanted to talk about today was about listening to your horse. I had a really neat interaction with Maestro when we started getting back to work after the clinic.ย Now Maestro is a bit of a funny guy. If you don’t know him well you might think he’s angry on the ground. When lots of people are around or he’s unsure about someone new he keeps his ears back and almost zones out. Often when I’m getting ready to riding I’m in an area of grooming bays with up to 3 other horses and their associated people so he often is standing still with his ears back. He has a kind if worried eye during this time but often people don’t really take it all in before proclaiming to me that he looks angry (which really annoys me btw).

Of course Riding Warehouse and their black Friday sale got me as I’m sure it got most of us and I just happened to pick up this silly thing called a magic brush. Don’t ask me why I even picked it, I have a billion brushes, curries, and a tiger’s tongue. I just did. It came and it felt too rough to be anything Stampede would allow so I took it out to try on Maestro. As I worked my way along Maestro moved a bit here and there which is unusual for him like I said above. I was riding alone during the day and the barn was fairly quiet but I did my grooming routine switching out my usual curry mitt for this “magic brush”. Since this brush did a great job pulling out deep dirt I just continued to use it.

So I’m working my way along on my next quiet day time ride and I realize Maestro is leaning into the brush. I keep working along, spending some extra time where he is leaning into me which was mostly his neck near the mane. Slowly with each grooming this has morphed into his favorite thing. I now know his favorite spots and he starts yawning and flinging his tongue around in enjoyment.

I’m so glad I listened to the small hints he was giving me early on. Stuff like this just makes my heart happy.

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9 Comments

  1. L. Williams

    Cute!

    Reply
  2. Teresa

    Carmen also looks cranky in the barn. Sheโ€™s not though.

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Glad we aren’t alone, RBF in horses. Just last night someone came into the grooming bay after my lesson and said he looked angry. Maybe I need a sign?

      Reply
  3. DianeHitt

    When you first got him, the barn workers would close his gate because “he is angry and trying to bite.” I told them, as I was opening the gate, that he isn’t angry. Look at his eyes, he shows a worried look. I guess I don’t notice the ears back so much any more. He is used to me checking on him and talking to him. And annoying Willow in the process. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  4. Rachel - For Want of a Horse

    You are very right about him being worried about too many people and about him being a clown! My favorite time with him is when I am out there Sunday evenings. I swear to you the only time his ears are pinned “at me” is when I step back to bring the camera out. Lol. He is SO lovey when he gets to know you. Sometimes a bit too much like the video I sent you of him trying to lick my whole face! LOL. He is a good boy!

    Reply
  5. Stacie Seidman

    I love finding a grooming tool they love and just spending time making them happy like that. Mine are huge fans of the hands on gloves, but maybe we’ll try a magic brush one of these days too!

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      My first pair of hands on gloves has not held up well – lots of nubs have fallen off. Second pair are not used much. I’m not a huge fan of them just because they really seem to get dirty and then get dirt everywhere, lol. Maybe my horses are just gross.

      Reply
  6. Hillary H.

    The magic brush must just be a chestnut black list. Annie hated when I tried it on her. How awesome to find something he enjoys so much though! I love getting to know a horse (which takes forever) and finding all of their spots and things they like.

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Yeah I don’t think Stampede would appreciate it except maybe during shedding season, lol. I’m loving giving Maestro a nice curry with it and getting him to stretch and yawn before every ride. It’s interesting how he will lean in and show that he wants me to keep going until he loosens up a spot. It does take forever to get to know a horse, you forget when you have been around the same ones for such a long time! Stampede and I have been together for over 12 years and Mr. P originally joined the family in 1997. I look forward to the day where I know Maestro half as well as I know the chestnut boys.

      Reply

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