Then the day of Lindsay's birthday arrived. I was really wanting to do something special for her and it occurred to me that Lindsay's expectations of a ride might be very different from mine.
I knew she hoped to trail ride her mare someday so we can once again do poker rides but that didn't mean Lindsay expected to start there. Knowing my youngest daughter and how much she loves this mare, I began to realize just being able to sit on the mare's back might be a gift in itself. Could this mare handle that?
The more I thought about this question, the more I realized putting Lindsay on Aana might be just what the mare needed. To this point Aana really doesn't understand what riding is all about. Just maybe Lindsay on her back would relieve the mare's stress and make the whole process of training her that much easier.
On one hand this thinking seems nuts to me. Knowing Aana is a reactive horse and Lindsay inexperienced could be a dangerous combination. On the other hand there is my understanding of this mare's behavior, and the bond Arabian horses are known for with their humans.
I know plenty of stories about amazing things happening between Arabian horses and humans. I have personal experiences with them. Arabian horses can be sensitive to the needs of those around them, particularly small children, the disabled and the people they love.
My first experience with an Arabian horse was with a stallion when I was a small child. That experience was so powerful it has affected my entire life.
The depth of Aana's commitment to Lindsay had been seen before too. The day Dave found Lindsay unconscious on the side of the barn, it had been Aana standing guard over my unconscious daughter. There is no doubt in my mind the mare has a deep bond with Lindsay. In deciding if Lindsay could ride Aana these extraordinary circumstances bare consideration too. The real question was did I have enough faith to trust this remarkable connection between my impaired daughter and this rescued mare?
The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that Aana could probably pack Lindsay safely, at least in a limited way. If I set it up right Lindsay could ride her mare for her birthday. I began taking steps to get that done.
I asked the young woman who had ridden the mare to lunge and ride Aana in the early part of the day. She decided she would bathe the mare afterwards to spruce her up for the big moment and I agreed, not remembering it might refreshen the mare defeating the whole purpose of lunging and riding her first.
I asked her to include Lindsay in the bathing process. For all Lindsay knew that was her birthday gift. She got to be involved in bathing and pampering the mare she loves. The spa session included tail braiding and copious treats and pets. Aana ate it up and Lindsay glowed as she shared her afternoon's activities with the mare.
To be continued......
The Unexpected Request...........