The Adventure Begins
Rhet clearly remembered Jesse Saldana from their encounter at the Region 5 All Arabian Horse Championships when the man stepped out in front of him in Tulsa. I could see in the toss of the colt's head, Rhet thought he'd grown enough to challenge the man now. Jesse just kind of chuckled at the colt as he stepped in closer to channel that attitude. The schooling session was on and it was Jesse one and Rhet zero.
That's one of the things I really liked about Jesse handling my colt. He never tried to beat that attitude down instead he focused on using it. A colt with a lot of attitude is just exactly what Jesse wanted on the end of his lead when he entered the show ring. Rhet was just going to have to figure out what ways of showing off fit into Jesse's plan.
Rhet has always been fast with his front feet. From the first day I got this colt, I knew those feet could be lethal if left to their own devices. Jesse could see the twitching of Rhet's knees and knew exactly what the colt was thinking. He adjusted his strategy keeping it in mind. Rhet seemed to get that as much as he wanted to strike..............he just didn't dare.
Rhet wasn't going to submit quite that easily, however. If he couldn't use those front feet to tell Jesse what he thought, then he was going to escape. The colt went flying to right and Jesse easily blocked him. Rhet countered by flying backwards but backwards didn't seem to phase Jesse at all. By the time the colt stopped and looked at Jesse it was clear the points had again gone to Jesse.
The schooling session went on and the intensity grew. Rhet was working hard to give Jesse what he wanted. By the time Jesse decided to end the session, Rhet was standing up looking pretty darn fancy............and pretty pleased with himself.
After putting Rhet back in his stall, I went to get Gypcy. This filly and I have never really gotten along. She's been for sale since the day she was born and sometimes I think she's known that and held it against me. Dave, on the other hand, has lavished her with hugs and kisses and he is her favorite person. Whenever I enter her stall Gypcy tries to escape. For Dave she walks right up to him looking for attention.
Over the months of condition this filly for halter, her acceptance of me had gotten better. I guess you could say she'd learned to tolerate me. Now at the US National All Arabian Horse Show, Gypcy had pretty much decided all of the stress in her life was my fault. The spinning, fleeing horse had returned with a vengence.
Just opening the stall door was enough to send the horse running for the hills. Trying to catch her to take her blankets off was a bigger challenge than dealing with nippy that nippy colt.
It's not that I couldn't catch her. It's that I needed to slow all of my movements down to a snail's pace to have any chance of doing it. Anyone who knows me knows I'm pretty much a high gear kind of person. I can hit that lower gear..........it just a very concentrated effort..........and the process feels like it takes forever...........even if it really doesn't.
I did manage to catch Gypcy and unbuckle her blankets. I had to take a deep breath before trying to lift her blankets over her head just because Gypcy likes it that way. I could feel her sides as I pulled those blankets forward. This unveiling wasn't going to be good.
It was clear from the look on Jesse's face when I led the filly out of her stall, Gypcy didn't look good to him either. Even though she'd resummed drinking water, the filly was badly sucked up in the flank...........and she'd lost a LOT of weight........and most of that was off her butt. We had a lot of ground to make up is this filly was going to make it into the ring.
Jesse went ahead and schooled the filly. If it did work out that she could show we wanted her to be ready. We did, however, decide to keep her exercise to a minimum. We wanted to stimulate her appetite but help her hold onto as many calories as possible. Also, both Gypcy and Rhet were to have food in front of them around the clock. we needed some pounds and we needed them fast.
The problem with putting weight on either of these horses wasn't just foint to be about time, it was going to be about feed too. The company contracted with the horse show to supply feed had hay that was lacking in quality and that is putting it nicely. I'd already sent more hay back, than I had kept. I was wishing I'd brought a whole lot more hay from home but I was stuck. None of my horses were eating this hay all that well. It was going to be tough to add pounds when they didn't even want to eat.
To be continued................
Schooling and a Little Gizer
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