I was riding Zelador and doing different tasks while Sue Parker led Spring Song (my three-year-old partner for the 2014 American Horsewoman’s Challenge). Zelador and I opened a “gate” made out of a few horse leg wraps (polos). Sue decided to add substance to the cloth gate and fed it through a hollow pole. Zelador and I approached this new gate and he let me know he wasn’t going to listen to me. He deftly picked up the cloth hanging on the “opening” side of the gate, then dropped it. Sue laughed for about five minutes.

After Zelador showed ME how to open the new gate he allowed me to ride him and direct the operation.

At one point Sue said, “Zelador LOVES this filly. Look at him!” Sure enough, Zelador was in love. He did every task better than he’s ever done them. The tasks included:

-dragging a weight

-having a head loop tossed from the saddle -going sideways over a pole, both directions -stepping accurately into three tubs at liberty and under saddle (he’d never done this under saddle before). He made a point of walking slowly through the tubs getting each of his four feet into the tubs.

-the Spanish Walk under saddle. He did this slowly and with a VERY high lift to each front leg. There’s NO doubt he was showing-off!

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