This is an article I wrote at the invitation of my goddaughter Verena. Verena is passionate about dog training and has recently graduated f...
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
It’s Menina’s birthday! How time flies! I remember 8 years ago, I was sleeping on a cot in the barn and Jolie, her mom, starting banging the stall door, drawing my attention as she was going into labor. I stood by and watched as this feisty little dark filly head came out, ears flat back, looking at me with 2 eyes, camped on her front legs, with a look that said ‘watch out world, I am here and I am on a mission!’. Her hind end was still in the mare and she was trying to get up on her front legs! Finally, the hind came out and she hopped on her feet, wobbled a bit, fell down and got up again to find Mom and learn about nursing. She did not waste a moment.
I spent the next 2 weeks at the barn imprinting and teaching her the basics of confidence, yielding to and from pressure, leading, and starting our relationship with the help of Jolie, who was then my level 3 horse and was totally in sync with the process. Menina’s favorite game was to steal the brushes out of my brush box and run off with them while I groomed her Mom, then drop them all the way at the end of the pasture so I had to go get them. She would also very carefully pull out the elastic band out of my hair while I was doing something without me noticing it at all, or my savvy string out my pocket, and was happy to show me her prize. Nice memories.
Menina is everything I wished for, all of it, and more. As they say, be careful what you wish for! We have traveled everywhere in North America together and have shared numerous trials and tribulations. Menina is just perfect as she is, because without her, I would not be where I am today. Just like her Mom showed me the path to a better way with horses, Menina showed me how much I still needed to learn and how savvy I had to be to earn the right to be with such a super partner. She highlights all the holes in my foundation, shows me what I know and what I need to know, and yet, despite all my fumbles and mistakes, still wants to be with me and continues to teach me. She is a wonderful, challenging, spirited, fun, fascinating, charismatic and unforgettable partner, and I would not change a single thing!