Alison

When I met Spartacus, I fell for him hard. I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to assess just exactly what shade of rose my glasses were regarding the big guy. I have come to believe that in the most important ways, Sparty continues to meet my hopes for him. He’s a gentle, sensitive creature. I was looking for a horse that I could start to partner with right away, not a horse that I had to prove something to in an aggressive way. I have plenty to prove, but we don’t force challenges on each other. We see them and try to meet them.

I’ve been doing a lot of liberty work with Nancy Kittleson, whose mentor is Robin Gates. The work is about relationship building so it’s perfect for me. I’m a relationship person, and have found a good match in Spartacus. He’s not at all standoffish. He is open to me, very responsive and affectionate.

We spent the first couple of weeks since the move just feeling each other out and reassuring each other that this is the right match. It’s been a gentle courtship so far. Yesterday, however, I brought him into the arena and saw his horse come out! He had some opposing ideas about arena work yesterday and got into a lather over the whole deal. It was beautiful and exciting. He’s so big and graceful. I have no need to dominate this horse, but I do need to step up to being a responsible partner with him and yesterday I saw a little more of what that means.

I’ve only ridden him a few times since I got him home. I have some tack issues to work out. I need a saddle and a bitless bridle. I’ve tried him in a couple of different bits and he’s probably fine, but I don’t like it much. When my tax refund arrives, a saddle is my first purchase.

When I first started looking for a horse, I got some sound advice from a trainer. She described the perfect “starter” horse for my first horse. Then, when I got to be a better horsewoman, I could trade up. Well, that’s out of the question. Spartacus is in no way a finished horse and I’m in no way a great rider, but we’ll just have to figure it out together because, God willing, we are going to grow old together. Just looking at him inspires me to be my best self.

On a completely different tangent, I rode Bri’ the other day. OMG so fun! I’m going to start work on my princess dress so I’ll be properly turned out the next time I got on her. You really feel like a show-off up there (plus she makes everybody’s butt look small).