Pulling One Over on Patrick

Great Game and Chuck DixonHi Elizabeth….ok–fair warning—-I haven’t even started writing and I already know this is going to take a couple of min(yea right) to read…so feel free to ignore this until you have some spare time….if that ever happens…lol. There is nothing earth shaking in it—just me rambling.

It was a real eye opening first day…Patrick as it turns out has a pretty good eye for a horse…we did do the fake owner thing to him and he bought it hook line and sinker..but while he and I were out with Game this morning watching her in turnout, he commented that “you know, this horse looks a lot like that Great Game horse on the Bits and Bytes site”…I had to look real close to see if somehow he had tumbled to my prank—but he hadn’t—just had a good eye for the horse. Anyway—went out first thing this morning and just got back at 6–I did take a couple hour break and came home for lunch—but otherwise just hung out with the girls today. We kept Shu in with her until I got there and then put Shu out in the mares pasture and turned our Game in the riding ring adjacent so she could get the sight and smells of the girls. She was soooo upset she just kept floating back and forth up and down the ring–totally distressed at being separated for the herd..not at all like Sush..so after about an hour and she wasn’t settling down I decided to go ahead and turn her out with the mares. Everyone but Sush ignored her…but of course not Miss Lead Mare…she had to come racing up and then there were two of them floating around the pasture—they looked so much like twins…but Sush surprised me big…they ran around a few times and Sush threw this one huge double back feet kick about 6 ft in the air….but from at least 20 ft away,,,,and that was it—demo over…(Sush is a very benevolent ruler–lol). The thing that was amazing that I have never seen before–is literally switching 5-10 min—the two of them were sniffing noses and nuzzling—and then Sush started licking her shoulder like some dog with a pup…from that moment on the two were inseparable…I spent a good bit of time walking the pasture with them…and Sush would come up and Game would come from the other side–perfectly amicable–get their respective carrots and wander off together. I am taking quite a bit different approach with Game. Where they call to let the track horses down I felt putting Sush to work right off was best—with Game she strikes me as not being even half as well socialized with people as Sush…and am thinking from what I know of broodmares that is most probably true..so spent time walking the pasture letting her get used to people and involvement instead of being just turned out and left to her own devices. She is soooo confused—she keeps looking about like she can’t figure out why people are actually on horses and leading horses…and she really can’t figure out her place in all of this…so my plan for her is to just ease her into her new world in baby steps. She really loves the attn….and for some reason seems to like me…she started running around last night and today when I left, and calms down when I come back to the pasture or in the stall with her…everyone says she really winds up when I am out of sight–guess I have to take their word for it as I am…”out of sight”…..when it happens–lol. I know when I am in the stall with her or even the pasture..she takes that big ol truck of a head of hers and likes to plunk it up against your chest and have it cradled and rubbed…she’ll just stand all day for that…nothing at all like Miss Diva Shu—who will grace you with rubbing and head butts for a couple of min then she is off.. having graced you with her presence for MORE than enuf time…lol. I have to teach her ground manners—her idea of behaving is not running over you when you walk her in and out of the pasture but that’s about it…she lets me do everything but not so much Patrick or anyone else…she tends to be kind of tense with them. I spent total of a couple of hours at least in the stall with her brushing and running hands over her and just hanging out and talking…what a sweetie. I am thinking am going to take my cue from her as to how fast to advance her–am thinking she will let me know when her comfort with what is being asked is there and then will ask for the next step…where as with Shu I just jumped in and dominated the situation so she had to learn to pay attn to me right off the bat. I am thinking that Game is pretty mature and will deal with whatever I hand her as long as I give her even half a chance to succeed by letting her deal, but if I jump on her to hard it will just freak her out and upset her without having her human anchor to get her thru things—soooo tomorrow we start to work—ground manners and maybe a little light loungeing 101… She won’t touch hay pellets—is eating her hay ok—absolutely adores sweet feed…lol…yea right—like THAT is starting right off the bat! But I did give her a handful just trying to see what she does eat so I could coax her into our feed regimen. Patrick has been a complete surprise to me….he loves the softness of this horse even without any training compared to the occasional prickly demanding attitude of Shu…but it sure gives us a measuring stick as to how far Shu has come reinventing herself by working with Game…you tend to lose some track of that in the day to day incremental things you work with. I have to say—even with her wonderful movement—watching the two of them together…I think Shu has the edge on her in movement…Shu has a bit more suspension and lightness where Game tends to float and lengthens like a dream..but I am thinking Shu will be able to elevate just a bit better…I have to say am really really happy to see both of them stepping thru and under nicely on the back end tho…so the possibilities are there for both of them. I’ll tell you—I have handled warmbloods that didn’t have Games bone structure….that girl is built like a TANK. I can’t believe the two of them act like they recognize each other like sisters almost…I have seen horses together for years and not seen that kind of tight bond…everyone here keeps asking me if they knew each other or had ever been stabled together…but Shu just flatly dumped her little girlfriend she had here within 5 min of Game being in the pasture. Life is very very good here Elizabeth….thanks again so much for everything…I have such high hopes of being able to send you videos of pairs riding and our girls doing something special next year….but…..even if they do nothing and get beat by every other horse…the true magic of the horse is in everyday…just like today….the grace of the relationships. Talk to you later…..Chuck