When Patrick and I composed a success story about Muchu, we felt there real success was us just having her here with us and sharing all of the grace and affection that is Muchu.
Great Game’s success story has been a tad more complicated…a tad longer to realize…but not one ounce less powerful for me. From the very first minutes Game unloaded from the trailer she and I were instantly hooked together by something transcendent. She has always embodied all of the best of what I have come to see in thoroughbreds…affection–loyalty–honesty–intelligence. It has been these very characteristics that has made our road so confused at times.
The very qualities that make her such a superb horse and friend, and finally partner, oft times confused the situation while we were beginning our relationship…she would give me anything I asked for-and she was intelligent enough to anticipate. The only problem was that the only thing she knew to offer was her track training. On the ground her manners were impeccable.
I have had dogs less affectionate and willing to please. Under saddle the same…but being an older horse and without the opportunity of going straight to another training regimen like for that of a sport horse..the only thing my lady had to offer was what she knew…and thought I wanted. When she and I talked under saddle she eagerly gave what she was…held nothing back… Even here her patience was Job-like.
I must have confused her terribly..asking her to trot and relax when the demands of her training and sport required the all out burst of speed and energy. Asking her to turn and reverse and stop and stand, when her path to success had always been laid out in a strait line in front of her, relaxation occurring only after she had given her all. But in the end—she stuck with me…she has endured confusion and frustration, trying to please someone who it must have seemed was impossible to please at times.
Most of the time what I hear is how a rider waited or stuck with a horse until they got what they were after in the end…in this lady’s case, I think she stuck with me instead. I can’t imagine the frustration she dealt with…the dump truck loads of carrots her only compensation, but she has persevered the endless brushing sessions…all the yammering she has listened to these months (I talk to her more than most people I know-lol), and in the end-she and I found a beginning. Had I been her I would probably have just stomped me and been done with it…lol.
One day a few weeks ago, almost literally, a switch flipped and she became my riding partner. She still has her opinions she makes known about where she should carry her head, and how unnecessary it is to bend through a circle rather than just cut it, and why we ride until I am satisfied with our work rather than letting her call quitting time, but it is the conversation of genial, bickering soul-mates now, instead of the miscommunication of the racehorse from Mars to the rider from….Venus?–(That didn’t play out perfectly) . We now look forward to pasture time-stall time–brushing(she is soooooo vain)…and finally riding time—and it is always her and me together no matter what we are working at. We have got a long ways to go to get to where we both want to be in the end….but now……..Patrick and Muchu better be watching out…..those footsteps they are hearing belongs to…..:)