My Jour­ney With Max

Horse & Rider - - RIDING OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE -

As the vet pal­pated Max’s spine, wait­ing for the flinch that in­di­cates dis­com­fort, I thought about my jour­ney with this geld­ing. Seven now, he was 3 when I got him—and I was a colt-train­ing new­bie.

I’d had ideas, though. I wanted a jour­ney that didn’t sac­ri­fice his play­ful in­di­vid­u­al­ity to my ego. A friend sug­gested I check out clin­i­cian Jonathan Field. “He’s good on part­ner­ship stuff,” she said.

I or­dered his DVD set and spent the win­ter work­ing through the lessons. The next sum­mer, we par­tic­i­pated in our first clinic, and have caught at least one clinic or camp each year since.

And… it worked! By stick­ing closely to the pro­gram, I got trained along with Max, and it’s led to a fan­tas­tic re­la­tion­ship be­tween us. I’m now an is­sue-iden­ti­fier, prob­lem-solver, and darn happy rider.

He’s a happy ath­lete, too. The vet smiled as she felt a nicely mus­cled back, free of all ten­sion and flinch­ing.

It was proof our jour­ney was trav­el­ing the right path.

…Jan Bagot, Ed­mon­ton, Al­berta

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