Ablaze is still hanging in there, after he was gelded. I have not freaked out yet, and called my vet, which is something I usually do when I have had a stallion gelded, but so far, he was not given me reason to be too alarmed. It seems, (jinx) to be healing rather well.
Last weekend we were at a horsemanship event with the two three year olds, and now, I am busy training for the first dressage competition of the year, where Saleem and I will be jumping off the deep end and quite possible get our asses kicked- my ass kicked- and we will be riding two programs. One he should be perfect for, and one that might require a bit more collection than what I have in him at the moment. We are going though, for the experience, to see the world and have a nice day with our friend LHK and her mare Louvre. I don’t care how the judges are going to evaluate him yet. I know we are nowhere near winning ribbons yet, at this show, amongst “ordinary” warmblood horses. Saleem is Arabian, he has to be much better than the others, to get the same score, just because he is small and red and looks naughty… Dressage judges either hate him or love him. Either way, he is not much better than the others just yet, so we are going to have a lot of fun, showing them something about horsemanship, rather than about dressage.
Still, Saleem is improving rapidly at the moment. He is really learning to relax his upper neckline now, to balance himself and to respond to my legs. If I was freaking out about a month ago, feeling that I was going nowhere with him, I am not now. He is really stepping up at the moment and here is where I, as his human, must be careful not to press the matter. He is giving me everything he possibly can, and I know it would be easy to pull on the rein and raise his neck, but he does not have the muscle structure to support a raised neck at the moment. Every time he does raise his neck, he is carrying his head with his lower neckline and I do not want that.
So, here he is, my absolute superstar, hardly headshaking anymore, and relaxing and collection as much as he possibly can, while maintaining the energy in his gaits.
Remind me, next time I freak out because I feel that I am hitting a dead end, that this is what it is like sometimes with horses and as long as you keep your goal in sight, and never question where you want to end up, and how you want to get there, it will work out. Trust the process. Be patient. And don’t stray from the path.
I just realized that there is a horsemanship show next month, nearby, and I must say, I am very inclined to bring Saleem and ride some dressage, saddle less and noseband less and spur less… Actually I am pretty much jumping for joy at the idea. Although, as far as the agility part is concerned, Apocalipse might have more fun if I brought him…
I just don’t think I am going to. Reading through the rules for the show, I am already disagreeing with the way they want the horses handled from the ground. Nah, I’ll stick to riding, and try not to cause trouble amongst, what should be “my people” much more than the rest of the Equestrian world.
And next weekend, I’ll be dressing up in black and white and showing off my wonderful little Arabian, and I will know how far we have come, from last year where he was nearly impossible to ride with his head shaking and till now, where you can hardly tell that he is not an ordinary little red horse. I will know how perfect he is, and I will be prepared to smile and wave, no matter what the judges score us. I must say, I don’t envy the judges their jobs. I am not sure how I would put a score on Saleem and me at the moment. Actually he is not doing anything wrong. He is just not what they want to see. What they are used to seeing. What modern day dressage looks like.
And he never will be.