I rode a horse! It was so exciting!
Actually, it was a little too exciting, as my daughter rode him first and got dumped on the ground. We were at a client's, who has become a friend, and she invited us to stay and ride. It was the gelding's first time with this saddle, and my daughter was taken aback by him starting off at a fast trot in the round pen, and she bumped on his back, and Mr. Allegedly Perfect crowhopped, and onto the ground went daughter. Never mind. She got back up, and he settled a bit, and then it was my turn.
He's a very nice, sweet horse actually. His new owner, my client, has only ridden him Western, but she said he was supposed to be trained to Level 2 dressage. What I found was that he was trained to have a false head carriage - chin tucked under, and zero connection over the to the rider's hands or to his own back. So that's what I worked on with him, and I think he started to let go of his behind-the-vertical mode of going and to connect a little with the rest of his body.
And he's not my horse and not my problem! So I didn't have to self-examine and question myself and wonder if it was ethical to be riding him in the first place or using a bit or any of those things. And honestly I enjoyed myself. Doesn't mean my equivocation with my own horses has got up and gone, but, hey, I'll take a bit of fun when I can find it!
Now on to the Etc. part of this post, which is the more interesting part, involving another client who is an Animal Communicator. Most of what she does involves finding lost animals, but she does help humans communicate with their animals about other matters also.
For example, she told me of a recent situation she'd helped with - the owner of a miniature horse was moving out of the country and had to find a new home for the horse. Two or three different potential new homes were on the table, and my client talked to the mini to find out which new owners he preferred. He had a definite preference and was allowed to make the choice himself - so the horse was happy, and the old owner was relieved to know that the horse would be content in his new situation.
Sometimes she'll be asked to find out what is bothering a horse. She said that horses are often reticent to complain about their owners (e.g. hard hands), as they don't want to hurt their feelings. So she has to promise to be tactful in communicating. I find this immensely reassuring.
I used to think this stuff was crazy. Now I don't. That is all.
p.s. Daughter may have cracked rib.