I always wished I could blend a little bit of Jet with a little bit of Sandy and create the perfect horse. As I stood outside in the mud this afternoon coaxing Steve Holt! that I wasn't going to have him for an afternoon snack, it occurred to me that this just might be that horse.
Where Sandy had been snorty and Jet had been in our faces, Steve Holt! is cautious, but curious. He doesn't snort, panic, attempt to bite or do a lopsided Spanish Walk. Neither does he just walk up to something blindly without taking a good look and assessing the situation.
Today was day 2 with my new boy. Yesterday's session was terribly brief, but today I spent a little more time out there, and managed to incorporate two sessions into the day. Steve Holt! learned yesterday to give to pressure on the lead. He did it really, really easily. Where both Sandy and Jet fought when asked to turn, he figured it out right away. Today he began following me and moving forward rather than just turning left and right.
What's more, today he allowed me to touch and rub on his neck and shoulders.
Okay...I've had others who've let me do that. But here's what's so amazing. Steve Holt! is allowing me to pat on him, not just rub. Never have I had a horse who's not been afraid of the thump thump of a pat the first few times. And yet he stood right there. I ran my hand down to his knee before he moved away. He let me reach over his neck, under his neck, and down to his hip. He enjoyed having his belly rubbed.
Want more amazing than that? He let me rub his face...and I don't just mean the sides of his cheeks, but up around his eyes and between them on his forehead.
And to top it all off...he's not a deadhead! He's aware of what I'm doing and he's not sure he likes it. He's completely on his guard, moving away when he feels uncomfortable (which is often.) I love that he's not ticklish and snorting like Sandy was...and I adore that he's not just standing there stupid like a brick and accepting everything that I throw at him (Jet's not stupid like a brick, but she doesn't think like he does.)
To be honest, I'm not too sure what to think, except this just may be that perfect horse...
In other news...Corrine Elser of Burns, OR just won Supreme Horsewoman down at Lynn Palm's Women Luv Horses event in California. She and several other women who competed in the Western States Mustang Challenge were invited to come down and ride. Corrine rode her mare, Dolly, through fire during her freestyle for the win. You may recall that Corrine and Dolly won the June Challenge event as well.
Madelyn Waggoner and Handy Hank were 3rd in the Supreme Horsewoman contest, but won the Bridleless Riding competition.