Meanwhile, this past year, God blessed my seasonal business, trick and stunt riding, with all the work we could handle.
And I regularly gush over and reward my horse for his faithful work. However, I would like to reflect on the intricacies of this relationship with Satchel ("Hatchel" according to the Very Young who struggle with "S" sounds..or "Hatchy"...).
This relationship being a result of many hours of hard work, trust, and fairness.
You see, with trick riding, unlike many other venues of equine sport, I am truly at my horse's mercy once I commit myself to doing a stunt.
My success and whether or not "I look good" rests solely upon his discretion: choice of running path, decision to stop or not as trained, and his good will.
So, I'd like to thank my horse.
Thank you, Hatch, for allowing me to wait calmly with you outside the arena before we perform (ie thank you for NOT rearing, or flipping out, or dancing, or refusing to approach..)
It's a small blessing that I can hang out with my family. Your occasional yawn before our performance begins... cracks Hubby and I up.
It's a blessing that I can trust you with my kids.
On the other hand, I appreciate that you get a little "jazzed" when you hear the music-that-we-perform-to begin.
I also appreciate that you help me carry the American Flag with dignity. This job, that of bearing Old Glory for the National Anthem, makes me more nervous than executing the actual trickriding event, and thanks to you and your good behavior...
the Flag gets the Bearing and Attention it deserves.
And as for trickriding...this particular trick is a good summary of our working relationship.
A testament, to our mutually respectful and trusting relationship, if I ever saw one.
The Tail Drag (I'm there..can you see my feet...and hand?)
And there You ("Hatchy-poo") are..running as free and unfettered as the wind.
While I dangle and bump around, hanging off your back end.
Not-even-all-Trick-Riding-Horses will tolerate this stunt.
You....You, Hatchy, have never let me down.
You have never tried to hurt me or purposefully "botch" a stunt.
Now, You have fallen on my head (my fault...I shouldn't have thrown myself upside down while you were running on wet grass, when you were still inexperienced to boot).
And you have tripped and fallen on your own head (the first time I've ever had to crawl off the saddle on all fours right on to the waiting ground)...
All honest mistakes. What can we say... sometimes bad things happen.
My Spirit has been bent and broken.
Sometimes an animal senses that and will take advantage of it.
But not You, Hatch; you bolster me.
No worries; we just go out There and do Our Thing.
You have been an honest working partner.
That's Something. Really, really Something.
...And I'm grateful...
Especially in light of, that when we're not trick riding you are a clown and a bit of an instigator.
You fulfill the Biblical reference to "horse" as a "servant". And then Some...
Enjoy your hay, Brother.
You earned it.
Love ya, Hatchy...