I can get rather close to the thoroughbreds in the care of mi maestro (my teacher/groom) and me.
Sometimes, love makes you sad, like today, when one of our horses was claimed. Val was one of my easygoing geldings who allowed me to learn a bit of the basics of equine massage therapy by practicing on him. He responded to my touch in a way I'll never forget. Now he will be in my virtual stable so I can follow his career.
I never had a chance to say goodbye. I heard the caller announce he was claimed and got misty-eyed. That's the way it goes in our game. Here is a recent picture of Val and me. It's been the lock screen photo on my iPhone for awhile.
I have to be honest. I like a good challenge. Mares provide that in spades.
One mare in particular has been getting more of my attention than most.
It became obvious to me her issues had a lot to do with tension. Ears pinned back in perpetuity, I learned she was much less menacing than she looked, except for that left leg that always threatened to cow kick me and teeth that would and once did bite this girl's first measurement.
I've been working with her, trying to help her release all that tension she can't seem to let go. I believe we've made progress.
I had a talk with the assistant trainer about my girl.
I've noticed as I've been working with her that she will protect her left hind quarter. The closer I get to that left leg, the more she braces against the stall wall with me inbetween. I would insert here that this is all in the most gentle ways.
However, she opens herself up when I am working on her right hind quarter. She literally positions herself up against the back of the stall and opens herself up to me willingly.
I've reviewed her recent films. I see how she is running on the outside and I suspect she is protecting that left hind quarter.
I think she might run a better race if she was on the rail.
I told the assistant as much... Pleased he didn't dismiss my suggestion.