Lots has been happening lately!
This weekend it was finally really nice out, sunny and warm. Naturally, the barn was packed full of people. Every arena had someone in it, and Barn Nazi was riding his green 3 year old, who didn't put her ears forward the whole time, and was pulling on the reins. I really don't want to go battle for space with all these people, especially since 3 of them are trainers who are going to be critical. So I decide to just hang out in the pen with my minis, enjoy some undemanding time, and watch the show.
Now, over in the corner to our right, there is horsey being ridden by trainer in side reins because he's been sticking his nose out lately. I can tell from this distance that it's because his saddle is pinching his shoulders, not to mention he doesn't like the mouthpiece being used on him. I saw it, it's a straight across bit, and he's a LBI. Then if you'll shift your attention over to your left we have horsey being "taught to flex" by another trainer who has tied his rein to his tail. Horsey is flipping out. And straight ahead we have an exuberant LBE mare who frequently bucks off people, being worked (and I only use the word worked when I mean it!) in the round corral, with her head tied down being micromanaged with a lounge whip. Same horse just about toppled over 5 minutes ago when she spooked at the barn door opening. Aaaand then straight ahead we have another trainer riding (riding being nothing more than the act of not falling off) a RBE young horse, who's spinning like crazy because he doesn't appreciate the draw reins connected to his shank bit, and he's only been under saddle a month. Then in the background, you'll see Barn Nazi's horse taking him for ride, and then almost dumping him as he tries to open a gate off of her.
Meanwhile one of my minis has now layed down in my lap, Ghost is letting me get a scratchy spot on her ear, and the third is resting her head on my shoulder.
After giving up on opening the gate, Barn Nazi comes over. "This beautiful day, and you have 8 horses, and all you're going to do is sit on that bucket!?!" ... "I like sitting on this bucket! I'm just hanging out with them." Again, gets confused and walks away. *Sigh* if only he could understand that I'm doing the most important thing I can with them: building a relationship. Something most of these people could clearly use.
Once most of them had left I got Mesa out to the round corral to play at liberty. The person who has her horse in training is trying to catch her horse out in the big arena. She fails. Trainer tries to catch one of her horses, and all 3 run away. I'm watching from the round corral as I play stick to me at the trot with my mare. Then just as she caught him and came walking my direction, and other horses spooking in the wind were dragging their owners back to their stalls, she layed down next to me. As everyone passed us, she layed there with her head in my lap. There's just no better feeling.
All in all, there is no doubt in my mind that I'm doing the best thing for my horses. And we'll take the trail less traveled, it's time for a better way.