Friday, January 24, 2014


I couldn't have been more proud of Charlie today. It was a full day of training for Jan and I (rode Finnagan for real, yay!), but Coty's owner had come to ride him so we needed a "dummy" horse to work on desensitizing him to the close presence of other horses in the ring. Jan thought it would be a good idea for me to use Charlie since it would be a new horse for Coty and might elicit a response that we could correct.

"Sure!" I said. although inside I was remembering how Charlie was rearing and bucking last night during turn in, rushing the fence, and was thinking "he hasn't been ridden in a week, it's freakin' freezing today; this may be a disaster".

I brought out my western saddle for extra grip and put him through a few exercises in the round pen first. He seemed very clear and level-headed,  but I've been tricked by that before, so I was cautious and stayed a good distance away from Coty at first. 

I needn't have worried. Charlie was perfect! We started doing circles and serpentines, crisscrossing and circling around each other, then changing direction, passing, practicing leading and following. He made me look like a pro and after a few minutes of trotting I felt him start to breath deep and evenly and settle into what I call his "working zen" mode. He made me look like a pro, and himself a perfect gentleman; I couldn't have asked for better or more beautiful behavior. He couldn't have cared less when Coty pinned his ears or passed him, even when he came up from behind.

As an added bonus, being forced to trot and trot and trot the drills with Coty forced me to actually do the repetitive trot work I am normally too bored or pressed for time to really focus on. What resulted in the end was some beautiful even trotting and supple turns. It really was amazing.
You want me to be friends with him, mom?

At the end we practiced standing side by side and face to face. Coty was being good enough that we decided to let them touch noses which, after a few seconds, resulted in a shriek from Coty and some really obnoxious striking out. Charlie didn't move a muscle!! Coty was corrected and we did it again a few more times until he no longer reacted. Charlie wasn't nervous at all and didn't make a peep or take one step away.
See, Charlie is a nice guy!

Today I really loved my horse :)


  1. He was showing you what a good mentor he is! Go Charlie!

  2. Yay, its so nice when horses behave for us, I think sometimes they know they have to be good.