Thursday, July 29, 2010

My fabulous horse, Mateo!

Tonight, I'd like to show off my wonderful horse to you!  I have had a couple of Amazing rides on him in the last two weeks!
First, the background.   Mateo is a Lipizzaner gelding (you know, the "Dancing White Horses") who was a GIFT to me almost 4 years ago.  He was born at the big Lipizzaner farm in Illinois called Temple Farms, was started on lines, and may have stood at stud there briefly.  A lady in Texas bought him and moved him here to continue to stand him at stud.  A little while later, Kim, the lady who gave him to me, found him running around in a pasture in really bad shape.  She rescued him, nursed him back to health, and then started looking for a good home for him.  Kim was a client of my friend and trainer, Pam Grace, and so Pam connected us.
I was really interested to see this "free horse" and was curious to find out what was wrong with him.  It's been 4 years, and I still haven't found anything!  He is the perfect gentleman and loves to learn.  I joke that he reads the Spanish Manual of Horsemanship while I'm not there and then applies it when we ride.  We get along splendidly!   He is such a gift from God!

He is happy too to have me back from my time off with Selah.  He actually nipped at me (the first and only time he's ever done that) when he saw me - I was being disciplined for staying away so long.

In the early days of training (until just recently!) he was as stiff as a board to ride!  His balance was mainly in the front of his body, and he was fairly heavy in your hands.  After a lot of tlc, training, a chiropractic visit, plenty of massages by Kiki's friend Chris, and I'm pretty sure a touch from the Holy Spirit, he is a DIFFERENT HORSE!!
He has shifted his balance towards his hind end so his shoulder is free to move and he's discovered that he can move sideways and LOVES IT!  He is very light in the mouth now (and he was instructing me today on how much contact he wanted me to have).  He feels AWESOME to ride.  I actually cried last week because I was so happy with how good he felt.
A couple of pics

I can look at these photos and tell you a million more things we need to work on, but I'm going to celebrate instead and enjoy this victory!!

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