Many of you know about the horse that brought me to Pat back in 1989. His name is Regalo (he’s 30 now and living at our Sydney Campus), a 16.1hh chestnut thoroughbred, and pretty extreme Right Brain Extrovert! Boy do I wish I knew about horsenalities then. Parelli was my last hope, and thank goodness I found it.
So some 12 months after beginning Parelli, my problems were firmly behind me and we were making incredible progress. This spooky, bolting, fearful, panicky,distrustful, impulsive horse finally trusted me and we were becoming partners… I could ride him in a halter, pretty much anywhere and this was a far cry from my previous experiences which usually involved bits, nosebands, martingales and very short reins. We didn’t trust each other and I didn’t know how to change that… I didn’t know it could be changed, let alone that much.
So on this particular day, I crossed the road from my barn and went into the national parks for a leisurely trail ride. Not only was that something special that I could do with Regalo now (I couldn’t trail ride him before), but I was bareback and in a halter with one rein and a Carrot Stick.
As we rode along in the dappled sun I started thinking about how lucky I was to have found Parelli and what an enormous change it had made to my life with horses… just look at how much harmony Regalo and I now had. Then all of a sudden, I saw a rider coming towards me the other way. As she drew closer I could see the trouble she and her horse were having. The grey horse was black with sweat, foaming under the straps of his martingale. He had a gag bit on that was half way up his face because the rider was pulling so hard, a crossover noseband strapped tight, his eyes were white-ringed and his head was up as far as it could go, straining against the reins and the martingale. The rider had on a crash hat, a padded protective vest and rubber-ribbed gloves for extra grip.
As they came prancing towards me I thought “Gosh, that used to be me! How miserable that was and how terribly dangerous. I bet she wishes she could have the relationship I have with my horse.”
And as she rode by me, she shot a contemptuous look at my halter and said “That’s dangerous!”
I was shocked and surprised at her reaction, but then I smiled to myself and said, “How interesting” as Regalo and I continued along our merry way.
Like me, you’ve probably had some of these experiences. Why don’t you share what was happening at the time?
By the way, Regalo means ‘gift’. And he was indeed. Look at what he’s given me :)