- Published: Tuesday, 28 February 2012 13:58
It was 2:30pm at the Pa. Horse Expo and I was sitting on Brazilian Wedding along with the other two trainers on their mounts about to enter the indoor arena to demonstrate what she was capable of after one month of training. You could hear the crowds gathering in the stadium as we waited in a narrow aisle of committed fans and concrete. I felt like a gladiator about to enter the coliseum for the first time, unaware of what we may see or how our horses may react. All we heard were the crowds gathering and the Fresians exiting the premises. It was our turn......
Upon arrival Brazilian appeared a little nervous. There was so much energy in the air from multiple disciplines, the multiple breeds, to multiple personalities. When it came time to perform, she was more comfortable under the saddle than in the stall. With all the seats filled and people jammed in standing, everyone was respectable to the fact that we were on horses that retired from racing and had one month of training underneath them. Steuart Pittman acted as the ring master as we warmed up, describing the mission behind the Retired Racehorse Training Project, and Brazilian was digging into work the moment I took up the reins. The clapping from the crowd would distract her and kept her on edge, however the intention was to be on best behavior. When it was our turn to showcase our strengths, Brazil was all business. When demonstrating in front of a large crowd, I like to educate, so my nerves were calm. I like to talk to the crowd while riding so I may keep them entertained while I converse with the horse into balance, so nobody makes a judgement based on a snapshot in time. Brazilian peaked in performance while demonstrating balance over every one of her jumps in good form. We had five minutes to show what we can do, and I believe Brazilian and I demonstrated just that with structure and tact. And when we ended with a halt after the last fence jumped, and she took a big sighing breath, I felt it was then, she realized the race was over.