Incident number one:

Today I was in the arena with Zeloso. He was moving about freely, snuffling bits of hay off the floor near the door and I was walking over to the corner to fetch my helmet. CLANG!! He had knocked the radio off the tall mounting block. It lay on the floor, unplugged and silent. My favorite radio station (CHFI) was no longer accompanying our training session.

“Zeloso!!!! You’re in big trouble!!! You stay away from that radio! What do you think you’re doing!!!” That was me, berating the four year old horse. I stomped over to rescue the radio and behind me I heard the clomping of hooves on the low platform. The poor guy knew I was mad at him and figured, “I’d better do something REALLY nice. Ah, she loves it when I stand on the pedestal!”

I had to laugh!

Incident number two:

In 1996 Sherlock was schooling over fences with Kim riding. I was filming and Mary was instructing. Kim took him to the small bank jump. He refused. She tried again and he flew over it like he’d jumped banks for a hundred years. Vintage Sherlock. When you first show him something he is horrified, “I can’t do that! Never! Never in a thousand years!!!” The second time he aces it and says, “No problem. Piece of cake.”

Beyond the bank was a small horizontal jump. Mary said, “Kim do the bank and then the horizontal.”

Both of these jumps had been done beautifully by Sherlock. BUT he’d done them individually, not in combination. He jumped the bank and skidded to a halt at the horizontal. Mary called to Kim, “You get after him. That wasn’t nice!” Kim scolded Sherlock and he began to piaffe. You could almost hear him saying, “Boy! I messed up that time. But, I know what they like. They ALWAYS love it when I piaffe!!!”

Incident number three:

In the late 1980s Penny and Winsome were working on the flying changes every stride. It took a while for the tall chestnut gelding to figure out what Penny wanted. When he finally did several “ones” in a row he received tons of praise. There was no doubt in his mind that the “ones” were very important to Penny. AND, whenever he got himself in the dog house he’d offer up the flying changes on every stride because he KNEW that she loved it when he did one tempes!