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. 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.