The days following the day I brought Sport home were tense for me. I had to keep Sport in a stall until the farrier came out to switch his custom made (very $$) shoes for some regular plates. Sport wings his left front foot out and would sometimes even strike himself, so I invested in the special shoes. I did not want them getting lost in the mud during his vacation.
Every day I took Sport out of his stall and into the front arena to lunge him. He was pretty easy to lead, but the moment I gave him some length of the rope, he seemed to just explode. I was not surprized that he had so much energy, but it was the way he directed it that caught my attention. Sport tried to run straight away from me, he reared and kicked and would canter and turn himself and kick right at me. Trust me when I tell you that the expressed body language was not one of happiness and excitement. Every day I gave him my entire lunch time to let him dismiss as much steam as he could. I did not punish him for the way he was acting. It was purely a guess on my part, but I felt that once he had his shoes changed out and he could get some real free time, he might fix whatever it was that was going on. It was a risky move though...
I was so thrilled when our farrier made it to the farm. Sport was fairly well behaved with the front shoes, but made quite an effort to sit on Josh as he was working on his back feet. The longer Josh worked on him though the more settled he became. Once he was done, I led Sport outside and put him into a large arena with his dam. I did not want him to be alone and they would not fight. I opened the gate, led him through and unclicked the lead rope..... He ran straight away from me without looking back.
Four days went by and the only contact I had was to take food and hay to him. I watched him from the window and it seemed that every time I looked, he was either running or rolling in the dirt. I made no effort to do anything, not even to pet him. This was not easy for me, but it paid off. On day 5 when I came out the door, he was standing by the gate and he whinnied at me. Music to my ears!!! This was the boy I knew and missed!!! I walked down stairs and over to the fence. Sport lowered his head and let me scratch him all over. From that moment on, every time I came near the fence, he would run over to me.
Don did get hired with a completely different company. In his line of work, he is paid on commision and by all indications, he will make more at this job than he did with his former! He gets a new company car and works 5 days a week, instead of 6 as he did before. What a BLESSING!!! We have a small amount of debt we accrewed when he was off that needs to be paid and several projects on the farm that need to be done as well.
All of this plays into the next chapter of Sport's career..
and as for his other job. We did find out why they never called him back. Shortly after Don accepted his new position, the old business was sold. If Don had gone back to work there, he along with all of the other managers would have been looking for new jobs at the same time. God is SOOOO GOOD!!!!!
Back to Sport
While Joy and I visited Maranatha, I had a chance to observe Tommy in his own environment and how he not only worked with horses, but clients, employees and lesson students. I know enough about him to know that he is an excellent horseman, but it helped to see everything in motion at the barn.
I liken Bluebonnet Farm to a 5 star hotel. Not only is the training excellent, but the facility lacks for nothing and you are never left without a groom to assist your every need...but along with a 5 star hotel, it comes with a 5 star price tag.
Maranatha also is an excellent training facility, but with a reputation for being a bit more frugal, starting off with the monthly cost. The round pen is situated in the center of the large riding arena and the stalls are not as showy. Tommy is known for being price conscience and right now, that is what I need. I also believe that it will be good for Sport to go to a different facility for his new start in training.
For this reason, in February, Sport will restart his training with Tommy Benton at Maranatha. I had a long conversation with Tommy about my desire to ride aside. He seemed quite enthusiastic... as long as I did not ask him to ride sidesaddle!