If possible, I’ve gotten to know Murray even better over the last four or five months. We have been spending a lot of time together — and not all that much of it was focused on under-saddle skills. In this time, he has shown himself to be a truly magnificent beastie. I mean, even more magnificent than we thought he was before.
I mean, please. What other creature can just …. pause on his withers mid roll?! And look so fantastic while doing it?
He looks like he should be sitting at a desk in an office, tapping away at his blog posts while his coworkers complain about everything a few cubes over.
Our goofing off has managed to be pretty productive, though. It’s so easy to cop out of riding when the weather gets rough. (Call me a baby, but even riding in the indoor isn’t all that appealing when the wind and rain are coming in sideways. Maybe it’s just the tacking up portions that I want to avoid?) So I often opt to turn Murray out in the arena for a little bit instead. And after a good roll and some screaming and flailing, Murray would come to me without fail and offer to play training games with me.
for example, Murray is now learning to lunge himself!
Which was a great time to get him walking back and forth over poles, practicing moving different parts of his body around, or generally getting him to think about or focus on me.
Our arenas have also been undergoing construction (laser leveling and new footing! thanks new owner!), which has made this a good opportunity to despookify the Murr-man to heavy equipment.
We will touch all the machines!
One of the last games I added in to our repertoire was walking over small cross rails, and finally jumping them. Murray isn’t a huge fan of free jumping. He’ll walk over pretty much any small X, but is not really into jumping them on his own. And never more than once. I never got it on video, but I did get him to trot toward and launch over fences in the arena a couple of times. It was always hilarious and always incredible.
will walk over anything below elbow height though!
And Murray just kept getting sounder and happier. So we celebrated by taking a real jump lesson. Which was awesome, and led up to our Fresno school — the results of which you already saw.
I love this ridiculous beastie. He’s brought so much fun and laughter and perspective to me. He never lets me take myself — or us — too seriously.
And he’s just so damn magnificent.