The Royal Festival of the Horse - day 1

The main highlight of the day was Pat's session with Robert Whitaker's new stallion. He is a young show jumping stallion that Robert just brought from Germany and he was very hard to bridle. Pat played with him for over 3 hours. It was a very controversial session and few people left the demo early.

Pat and Robert

Lift the tail button

We stayed and watched amazed how calm Pat was. Understanding horses is a life long journey and sometimes we see things that we still can't understand especially if we'd never came across such an extreme horse. But I was confident that Pat was doing everything for the horse. The horse was very left brain all the time, he didn't panic or move much, he didn't sweat a bit.

Pat finished his session in a very good place for the horse. He played with the horse for another 6 hours the next day at the barn here in Stoneleigh. The outcome was: the horse could be bridled with no problems and Robert want on and competed on him the next day. I think it was in stallions favor that he came across Pat Parelli, otherwise brideling him would get harder and harder each day until he would become one of those people label as crazy, untrainable and not right in the head.

Here you can view some clips from Pat's sessions with Catwalk

This day has proven to me how little I know about horses. How many things I still don't understand or I simply don't see. There are no quick solutions to problems like this stallion had. We should always take the time it takes and try to work on problem areas with the horse not against it, even if the problem seems small or trivial at first. Otherwise some day we might discover the horse can't take it any more. We might be under the impression that the horse suddenly started refusing being bridled, clipped or shoed etc but the truth is the horse probably was putting up with our inadequate behavior for a long time.

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