Sunday, February 27, 2011

The weekend that was

What a weekend! the stallion got to his show, and my dog retained her title and trophies as the fastet swiming dog in the area, and i spent ten hours driving between the two.

Thanks to Marilyn and Kristine, for finding and providing a place for Matai and myself to stay.
I met so many wonderful people, and their horses. It was a great show, with a great many supportive individuals who made me feel so welcome!

An hour or two ago, my little wild stallion, backed wearily down the ramp of the horse float,. Walking back to his paddock in the growing dusk and the first creeping cold of autumn weather, the poor boy looked exhausted. the travelling, competing, socialising and spending the night in a strange new paddock had certainly taken their toll on him. He had learned that the world was a whole lot bigger than he thought it was, with many a strange thing to be seen and experienced!

But throughout it all his behaviour was impeccable, he learned to behave around other horses, mare, stallions no matter what they were. Apart from a few shrill calls to begin with in the ring, he settled down perfectly. We did end up with a few ribbons, but ill will have to write up the full story next time, as for now i need some sleep

Friday, February 25, 2011

Show day is coming!!!

Matai the stallion, is looking back to normal, with no more swelling in his leg. So I'm off down country to the show tomorrow. To be honest, i don't have huge expectations, as although i love my boy, I'm the first to admit, he struggles to look anything more than just a little brown pony. But i cant wait to meet all the other people with Kaimanawa horses, and see the horses themselves of course!

Poor wild stallion, he was washed and shampooed to within an inch of his life today. That mane of his is so thick, that when i finally applied enough soap and water to wet it through, his head was down by his knees with the weight of it all, and with that thick black hair he looked like Bob Marley caught in a rain storm.

I'm going to admit that i may have been a little keen in doing my entries though. Because although i would like to perform a horse training miracle,the stallion, having a couple days off this week with a sore leg, just hasn't had enough rides, to be able to compete in the ridden section of the show. Even though hes wonderful, less than ten rides with a saddle and bridle is just far to few, to then go to a show and ask him to perform it is asking for trouble, and could potentially undo all his good training.

Anyway i will be away for the weekend, but cant wait to see how the show goes, will be a learning curve for both me and the horse as to be honest i don't know what to expect either.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A whole lot of shaking going on

For those of you who haven't heard, my little country is having a rough time.

For the first time in New Zealand's history, it has been declared a state of national emergency. For the second time in six months, one of our major cities, Christchurch, has experienced a major earth quake.

The death toll, 31 hours after the event, stands at 75, with hundreds still missing. The national news channel, is running non-stop news coverage. The images coming through are heartbreaking. Whole towns, buildings, roads, and the complete city center, shaken to the ground.

Thank you, for those of you who sent well wishes!! My ponies and I, are safe, being situated on the other island and well out of the danger zone. However i ride a horse for a client, who lives in Christchurch, thankfully she is safe, but has lost just about everything in the quake. I heard a farmer on the radio had to shoot all his favorite cows, because they had fallen in a crevasse which opened up in his paddock. My heart goes out to them all!!

Disaster like this put everything in perspective!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Matai, the wild stallion, has his big show this weekend. Yesterday he had his first ride in a bridle and was fantastic!

Today he has one big fat front leg.....Swollen from the knee down to the fetlock. No obvious wound or mark on him, and i have checked him thoroughly. Not problems in his feet either. Hes not really lame, although hes not wanting to trot out as freely as usual...

Uh-oh is all i can think. It would be terrible to miss his first show! Hes such a sturdy wee thing its unusual for him to have this kind of problem.

My guess is, because we are having such weird weather patterns here, hot extremely humid summer, lots of horses are coming up with weird skin conditions,grass staggers and other abnormalities that we don't usually see. So I'm hoping this swelling is just due to grass and heat, as every couple of years we have the odd horse, come up with weird swollen legs that go down after a day or two, although usually its all four legs, not just one. Ive been told its due to high toxin levels in some grasses.

hes had a good feeds with extra supplements, hopefully he will be all cleared up by tomorrow. Fingers crossed

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I love my little wild stallion, but it is not magical the relationship we have. Horses are horses and if you treat them right, train them correctly, and understand them, you can do amazing things. There really is no better feeling than the galloping freely across the beach, or the rush of adrenaline and sensation of a huge adventure when exploring new places. Knowing your horse is your partner, the feeling you can trust them, and the sense of achievement i get when i know i have done all the training myself is a huge thrill for me, and the reason i chose to work with these creatures.

Whether mastering a new dressage movement, jumping a big scary obstacle, or just out riding rough country and making it through challenging terrain, its all the same to me. Its an adrenaline rush, I love the feeling of knowing my horse will do whatever i ask, and do it safely. That's all training should ever be, is teaching a horse that if you ask it something, anything, it must try to do it and gets rewarded for that. the more trained, the more refined the questions we ask of it.

Anyway...not magic what i can do with the stallion. he is lovely and i definitely had a great horse to start with. But its all the little things most people take for granted that makes horses amazing.

i can ride him with mares, because i handle him around mares. When handled, there are simple rules, he must stay focused on me and the job at hand. if he gets distracted he gets asked to work, or move or anything to get his focus to me again. Calling out, looking around, are outside the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. when he is focused on me and not distracted, hes always rewarded, so staying focused and ignoring whatever else is going on, becomes pleasant and reassuring thing for him to do. Simple as that....well almost that simple anyway.

horse are herd animals, they like leadership. if you can be ther leader, them kindly and compassionately as well as clearly in a way they understand, then they generally are happy and unstressed and really will do anything for you..

The beach story..

I didn't actually plan to ride the stallion down the beach bareback. When we got up there, we realised that we'd been to overcome with anticipation and excitement, both my friend and i, had forgotten our helmets, as well as one of the girths for the saddle. So in the spirit of fairness, we decided to both go bareback, and took turns with the spare helmet i had in the car.

I did however have a quick, literally 5minute ride on Matai, with both the saddle and helmet, when we first got there, before moving on to bareback, when we started our ride.

This didn't really bother either of us, we spent every summer holiday when we were younger, riding across farms, beaches and the steepest wildest places we could find. We usually did this dawn until dusk. The horses were'nt bothered either, we were relaxed and so were they. Even upon coming across the roaring waves and water, they looked with ears pricked but didn't get upset.

We had a blast! i think the horses did to. The stallion came across tussock grass in the dunes and obviously recognised it as edible from the mountains, as every opportunity had him stuffing his mouth full, while my other mare politely declined to eat it. The rough and varying terrain got both horses using their brains and bodies and they adapted well, and never had to be asked to do anything twice. they walked, trotted forward happily and confidently, completly at ease with what ever we came across
i could go on and on...but basically, i had a fantastic time and even though i don't believe in magic i still think Matai, the wild stallion is amazing.
So did all the people who met him on the beach!! I got to explain his story to many a tourist and now all over the world their will be people, with a photo or two of the wild horse from New Zealand

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the wildest ride yet

I have had the most amzing day! I am still high on adrenaline from the wildest ride yet.

To excited its write up the whole story, il put up the pictures for now.

The start of the ride....
Sand dunes
Me holding the mare and riding the stallion with the beach stretching out behind us...

The veiw from the back of the wild stallion...

My best mate, who has accompanied me on many a crazy adventure, and I, spent the whole day riding the wild stallion, and a pony mare of mine, bareback across the beach, and rough country, two hours drive north of me.

For those of you who havnt experianced the sheer exhilaration of galloping a horse along a beach, and felt the power and freedom of it. I can not even begin to describe the thrill, but it is amazing, and reminds me of all the reason i work with horses.
Stopping for our lunch break....
We galloped along beaches, climbed up sand dunes, went through forests and scrub country, limbo'd under branches, weaved between trees, and slithered down banks of pine needles so steep you were leaning right back against the horses rump for balance...All this on a stallion that has been had only a handful of rides in his entire life, and 6 months ago was runing wild across the moutain sides. All of this we managed bareback in only a halter,with the other horse being a mare (in season) and never once did i feel worried or his attention drift from the job at hand. he kept me safe and sound, was perfectly behaved, and both riders and horses alike had a faboulous day!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

When a day goes ten kinds of wrong

My day hasn't been a good one, and its only just now that the reason behind that are coming clear.

this i would assume is the main culprit.....well him or his owner at least

I get so so pissed off with irresponsible animal owners its not funny. We get loose pig dogs showing up at our farm from time to time....we are the last stop between the road and hundreds of acres of beautiful native forest. It is a favorite for feral pigs and there for hunters and their dogs. I don't have a problem with hunters, just when they happen to be irresponsible and idiotic hicks, like future events showed these ones to be....

At 2am this morning i woke to hear galloping, thundering hooves and high shrill screams of a foal. My life is nothing, if not action packed. I was the only one home as it happened, so leaping out of bed i grabbed the torch and a halter from the back door, and took off ruining for the paddock. There i found the youngest foal,who had either gone over or under his paddock fence, and was runing up and down along the wrong side, bordered on the other side by a steep bank into the stream. Excellent. I haltered the mare, who was galloping up and down on the correct side of the fence, to keep pace with her baby. After a few attempts of trying to get the foal back to correct side of fence, i gave up and got wire cutters.
by 3am after cutting the wire, moving the foal, and fixing the fence again. I was back in bed, knowing i had to be up again at 5.30am to go to a show for the day.
I woke up at 7am.
This is the first time i have slept in for a show in my entire life.
The show i was going to was a dressage championship, and my first test was to be 8.30am, i live just over an hour away from the showgrounds. my horse wasn't plaited or ready to go in any way shape or form. My day was getting worse. For an instant i contemplated, just rolling over and going back to to sleep, but I'm to competitive for my own good. Again i hit the ground running, ran to find my horse, found that her and the rest of the herd had gone through the electric tape in the night and were happily munching on knee high grass id been saving for winter. day got even worse. Rolled up electric fence, caught horse and ran back to load her for the show. Except the trailer had sprung a flat tire. Day now verging on near disaster.
i got to the show after changing the tire myself, only to be to late for my first test anyway. but still had 15minutes to get to the second test. i asked a random lady to help me (god bless her kind soul, she saved me) and in ten minutes i had my horse plaited and was on her back, no time for warm up. I went and rode my second test. It was not great, but i couldn't have expected it to realistically have gone any better with no warm up. From there it was straight to the last test of the day. Literally leaving one arena and straight to the next. The last test wasn't a great improvement. horse was tense and the whole thing was just a bit of a disaster. i really would have done better top save the gas money and stayed home. I headed back to the the farm feeling depressed and frustrated, with the morning events.
Just when i thought day couldn't get any worse , i dove up to the house, unload the horse, look to the paddock to find a big brown dog, chasing cattle.
F*$K, SH!T, CR%P!!!!!!! Was all i thought. Dogs chasing stock is about every livestock owners, nightmare. i threw the horse back in her paddock, and took off running for the cows. Getting closer, i slowed to a walk. I wanted to catch this dog not scare it back into the bush. I let out a loud whistle, and miraculously it stopped and started to come towards me, i whistled and called it again in my friendliest tone "come on boy, come on". But on hearing this my own dogs leaped from an the veranda of the house where they were locked and coming running to me. The brown dog turned tail and ran for it.
To cut a very long story short, ten minutes later the dog reappeared. This time i had my own dogs tied, my biggest fear being that if this was an aggressive dog, i didn't want it tearing my dogs to pieces. I called it again, and again it came toward me then ran back into the bush. This time i followed calling and whistling. I started walking around the trees where i last saw it disappear, and then turned around to find it sitting on the trail behind me, wagging its tail and panting. i called it over put a rope on it and took it to the house. It was a nice dog, a chocolate lab mix, happy and friendly, but covered in fleas and a bit mangy looking, as well as very thin.I tied it up, gave it some food and water and left it, happily relaxing in the shade of the house. Waiting for the owners to show up and reclaim it.
I didn't have to wait long. A couple hours later A beat up yellow Ute came rattling down the driveway, a dog cage sitting on the back. i walked out to meet them leading the brown dog, who on seeing the truck started wagging his tail and emitting happy whines of greeting. No dount these were his owners.Two men got out, looking every bit the beer swilling, country hick idiots they were. one wearing socks but no shoes, and a bear gut poking over the waist band of his pants, the other in a well over sized heavy rock singlet and ripped jean tucked into over sized gumboots.
Yea it was there dog, they'd gotten 'a bit messed around' hunting last night and ended up coming out the back of my farm, 5km from where they were supposed to be. About the time they described themselves 'banging around in the trees' is about the time i had horses running through fences....Co incidence? i think not? it doesn't take a huge amount to spook horses, and strange noises from the forest probably would have done it.
The guy explained that he walked to the end of our road and then called a mate to come pick him, his fellow hunter, and his dogs up. " 'cept i forgot to count ma hounds 'n left this fellow behind, ma best duck dog, he is". Genius. he only realised later in the day when he let the dogs out of the truck again.
I gave him back the dog, after telling him about the stock chasing and the horses in the night. he apologized and went on his way.
Not very far on his way, his truck battery had died, and while him and his mate tried roll starting it, it rolled all they way into a ditch on the side of the drive. They were now stuck at my place, Just when i thought my day might be getting better, it suddenly got worse...
I hoped in the farm truck and drove it down to them. He tried jump starting off my vehicle, but that didn't even wake a response from his tired old truck. So next he fished out a rope, as i offered to give him a tow out of the ditch at least. The rope snapped 3 times before i went back to the house and got our tow chain.
Finally towing him out of the ditch and along the drive, i was suddenly slammed forwards into the steering wheel, as my truck was smashed from behind. In-bred hick hadn't thought to use his brakes, and rolled his truck right into the mine.....WTF!!!! i wondered if this guy could be any dumber? luckily the farm truck is a hunk of junk and wasn't damaged.
Next the guy, who was sinking ever lower in my opinion, asked if he could " borrow a spanner, I'll just go ahead in be putting this good battery back in" as he lifted another car battery off the back of his truck.....Really? he couldn't have done this to begin with??
finally after countless minutes of fiddling with spanners and wires and continuous commentary about what a 'bad day he was having' he had the battery fixed in place, the truck started (thank god), and he was on his way again.
I think my bad day defiantly topped his bad day. But looking back all i can do is chuckle to myself, what a comedy of errors!! At least his loose dog and stomping around the forest in the night only resulted in broken fences not broken animals....His stupidity also had the positive effect of making me feel really intelligent by comparison.
Sometime is goes so wrong you have to laugh!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

exhausted but happy

I'm sitting here slumped over the keyboard, to tired to drag myself out of my chair and to bed. Days at the moment are long and exhausting, i rode a record number of horses today in the stifling summer heat, and feel absolutely bone tired. But even so, I'm very happy. I had another fantastic rider on my 'wild stallion', Matai.

He was as usual, an angel. Just a quick ride around the paddock, walking trotting and cantering both directions (with a saddle), was all i had time for. But even so, I'm happy, he stays focused and attentive the whole time, and in a horse that is so very very green, i really couldn't ask for more..

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the floods

Here are some pictures from the floods we had ten days ago......Oh and i have decided the wild stallion and I, are going to the show, the other other horse can compete later in the season.

The top photo is of the road between my house and the nearest town, this is just after it opened, it was closed for two days as the water rushed right over, the poor farmer lost all his fences. This is usually beautiful flat paddocks full of cows....

All the gates on the farm, that we had to leave closed, got warped like this one. Note also the level of debris on the other gate, all from the flood water, This was one of the higher gates too, and was so warped, we had to use crowbars and sledge hammers to open it.

Let me repeat January and February are our DRIEST months!! We have already had two floods and more rain predicted for the weekend, and the temperature fluctuates between freezing cold, and scalding hot beach weather.

In other news Fern has a new Bedroom/ Pen. Where her and her big beautiful boy, Sonny, spend ther days. As due to the wet weather, we have so much grass, im worried Fern will eat herself to death. So she gets the pen, with a feed and hay during the day and out with the main herd at night. Sonny spends his days just sleeping in mum's shadow..... But if you look closely at this photo, you can see Sonny sitting on a big pile of hay...this happens everyday. You put the hay in the pen, Sonny spreads it out, lies down on it like a bed, and has a nap. While poor Ferm is stuck trying to nibble bits out from underneath him. After his nap he gets up and eats all the remaing hay, its a daily ritual, that makes me laugh everytime. What mothers put up with ay...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Should i stay or should i go???

I have been told that my last few posts i wrote, are more like essays, than blogs, and a bit long to be easy to read. So ill try and keep them a bit shorter from now on....

So here's a question.... The Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare trust is having there annual show. It's at then end of this month, so i have only a few days left to do entries. Its the same weekend as i had scheduled another show for my eventing horse to go to.

Which one do o choose??

I really would love to attend the, wild horse show, because

  1. I think the KWHWT do a really great job placing horses in good homes and set up a good support network for those who take on the horses from the wild, and i would like to support them

  2. Would be great to get my wild stallion out and about, i love showing off my horses. But also to see other Kaimanawas and get to know a bit more about the breed.

  3. Its closer than the other show, cheaper to enter, and would be for me, more of a fun event, about participating rather, than serious competition that my career depends on...

But the other show, would give me a chance to gain a qualifying score, for the national three day event, although i could possibly do another show later in the season to qualify. I'm also quite a competitive person, although i love my stallion, not sure hes wining material, and hasn't been ridden long enough to realistically have a chance for the ridden classes. Also traveling, is slightly more challenging with a stallion, if they don't have suitable yards at the show i would have to find somewhere to being so far away i would definitely have to travel down the day before.....But overall these are all solvable problems

i just cant make up my mind.....

Also how are u meant to show them, ie, in their natural state, with long manes and feathers on their feet. Or are they meant to look like a show horse plaited and trimmed?

I have put Matai on a show horse diet and have been giving him extra grooming each day so he'l be in tip top condition, just in case....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

the most exciting ride yet

I love my boy more than ever.

In the blistering summer heat, that we are now having, yesterday i went for another amazing ride on Matai, the wild stallion. he has an awesome nature, and is one of, if not the best horse i have ever worked with. But i also think it is important to know, that training, understanding and handling of the horse makes a huge difference in how fast they learn and how willingly they work. A intelligent horse, no matter how willing, can soon be turned, nasty, aggrieve or sullen to work with, if training is done incorrectly. there are some absolute horror stories out there, about people who have taken on wild horses, with no knowledge, and it has turned into a horrible disaster.

i took Matai back over to my cowboy friends farm again. For those of you maybe not so familiar with the horse world, Stallions are somewhat notorious for being hard to handle, especially around females of the same species. But Matai happily loaded into the float for the journey, this time with another horse beside him, a pretty young girl,who has been broken in about a year now, and is soon to be sold. After an initial look of excitement as the female horse loaded in to stand directly beside him, he was an angel, loading easily and standing quietly for the whole journey. unloading again quietly after the girl had hoped off.

instead of working in the arena, with the extreme heat and dust, it was decided to go out for a ride across the farm. For young horse sometimes the best thing, is to get them out and about, moving forward freely, and make riding a fun and interesting experience for them. instead of dulling them with endless circles drilled in the arena. Horses feed off the behaviour of other horses and their rider, so having horses that are calm and happy and ride out with them, allows them to follow the example and become relaxed and unstressed about any situation.

i saddled both my ponies, the cowboy rode his mare (girl horse), and another friend riding her mare as well. I rode my little girl, and led Matai behind me. To start with his little face was so confused about what he was meant to be doing, so i got him following me, and working him a bit off my horse ( turning around me, getting him to move away from my horse) just so he didn't think it was a breeding situation. Once that was established he happily followed along behind, calm and quiet but his eyes taking in everything. Off we set, over the paddock and into the bush where shelter from the burning sun, and cooler temperatures beckoned.

Leaving open paddock behind us, the trail become narrower, and a lot steeper, winding along a ridge,through beautiful native forest, with cicadas roaring in the trees, and cool enough under the forest canopy to be enjoyable, it was the perfect ride for a hot summer day. It also gave the horse something to focus on as they always had to be thinking of where to put there feet next. Matai being a sure footed little thing, from his days running wild on the moutains, had no trouble negotiating over logs, steep, narrow and winding terrain, he was unworried by the whole experience. huffing a little bit he happily made his way behind us, unfazed about all his female companionship.

Even with the shelter of the bush, after a about an hours ride it was time to head back for home, before we sweltered in the midday heat. climbing off my girl i handed her lead rope to the cowboy, and jumped aboard my wild stallion, who was standing as calmly and contentedly as a old farm hack who being doing this his whole life. i always test my control as soon get on a young horse, by doing turns and halts, bending left and right etc, to make sure they remember and have their mind on the job. Matai felt relaxed and focused underneath me, the ride out taking the edge off any extra exuberance he may have had. We turned and headed for home, Matai and i following the other three horses.

My wild stallion never gave me cause to be anxious, i felt completely at ease on him, safe in the knowledge that no matter the terrain he was secure on his feet, he never felt like he would do anything other than what i asked of him. Every so often when i had the chance, i would go for a little trot or canter, to keep up with the others, and use it to teach him more about the correct aids to go forward. He didn't need reminding he remembered everything, and as easily as i could make him go forward he would slow and stop, when ever asked.

The whole journey home, was a twisting and winding, downhill trek the entire time. This can sometimes be where a young horse is inclined to buck as they feel your weight shift around on there back. Not matai he never even felt tense. sometimes following behind other times leading the way home, he was focused and at ease underneath me .

I wish i had photos, it was a magical ride, and a huge adrenaline rush, to be able to enjoy a beautiful ride on a horse that has came from the wild, and yet felt completely calm and safe, on only his second ever saddled ride.

all i can say is i love my wild boy to bits!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

im in love

I'm in love.... I have a smile on my face, and a bounce in my step, as i go about the farm chores.

Its been a big day, late in the afternoon a little brown pony, carefully and quietly backed down the ramp of my horse float. he calmly followed me down the driveway,walking a few steps behind, down the gravelly bank and into the stream. Pausing halfway through the cool water for a long deep drink. He gave a big sigh, standing there, water dripping down his chin, he seemed to be cotemplating life, and all he had learned t.

Matai, had a big day. Horses must wander to themselves, what human are up to at times, and my little wild stallion, will have had plenty to think over in the paddock. Today was a day of many firsts for him. His first trailer ride, his first real farrier visit, his first time being ridden with a saddle, his first time being ridden out and about in a new enviroment, his first time being handled by some one other than me.

Finally had a long overdue visit from the farrier today, all the horses have had i good toenail trim and there hooves are looking nicely manicured again. Although Fern has had her feet trimmed before, Matai has only ever had me handling and doing slight trims on his hooves. But after watching the trimming and rasping of his paddock mate's feet, and a slightly cautious first glance at the farrier. he stood there quietly, liked he'd had this procedure a hundred times before.

I had a bit more time on my hands today, with only my personal horses to ride and the farm chores to attend to. So i decided it was high time to give my little wild stallion, his first real ride. I don't really have the facilities for breaking in horses at the farm, with only big open paddocks. But i am lucky enough to have a great mentor, horseman and friend, who lives about a 20 minutes drive from me, who has excellent facilities and always helps me with my horses when i need it.

To ride a horse properly ( not just play around in the paddock) it helps to have two people, one to ride the horse and one to help from the ground. i.e encourage the horse to go forward if it gets tense, or help turn it, basically help guide the horse and prevent bucking or bolting or panicking it. Its also important to have a good walk, trot and canter so the horses learns to go forward and then relax with a person on its back. Avoiding this on a young horse is like creating a ticking time bomb, they never learn to relax and will usually get very tense when you ask them to go forward for the first time, if you only spend months just walking them in the beginning.

Anyway Matai, had his first horse float ride. He walked quietly up into the trailer, and stood looking back at me as i closed the bars and doors behind him. I have loaded him in the trailer before, in preparation for his first journey. So he wasn't worried about going on this time. Off we set, i checked him at the farm gate and he was alert but standing quietly.

Arriving at the friend's place twenty minutes later, Matai was a bit sweaty but otherwise had made the journey calmly and quietly. Unloading him, he looked around, then stood at the end of the lead rope watching me for guidance. off we set for the indoor arena, past horse trucks, tractors and all manner of things, the wild stallion would never have seen before. He walked calmly past it all. His attitude is so stoic, calm and accepting, if your not worried, hes not worried.

Saddling up my boy in the big indoor arena, i was buzzing with pride for my horse. He had passed our first test with flying colours. My cowboy mentor, ( who incidentally is a professional trainer) is amazing to watch with horses, and always inspires me to continue to improve my horsemanship skills, had worked with my little wild stallion for the past ten minutes. To get a "feel" for him, see how he reacted, and to ensure there was no flaws in my training, that would cause things to go wrong once i was on his back. Matai had eyed him suspiciously at first, trying to watch me sitting on the rail, as i was the one usually guiding him in his work. it took me back to the timid little mouse he used to be when we first met, always watching you with those big brown eyes. But eventually, he focused his attention on the cowboy int the middle, and did all that was asked of him to perfection. Sigh of relief by me, as it meant that i to had passed, i had done every thing in his training, and hadn't forgot or botched anything up.

Next step, was me up and sitting on his back. I was confident in my boy, but you can never be 100% sure how a animal prone to flight will react, when it finds something tight around its chest and a great weight on its back.... My confidence wasn't misplaced. He was an angel, he did everything, no hesitation, no bucking and stayed focused on his job at all times..
This is what i live for, the milestones you hit, the seconds of adrenaline as the horse learns to go forward and the instant where it could have gone bad or good is over, when you realise the horse knows it job and it was your training that got it there. I'm not going to lie, It is a massive thrill to know the horse i sat on today once ran wild, that i trained it, I'm the only one to have ever handled it, ridden it, i was the first one to touch him and the first one to sit on him. It really does make all the blood sweat and tears worth it.
his amazing attitude, his intelligence, his train-ability and willingness to work and the absolute thrill i get from working with him. is why I'm newly in love with my little wild stallion.