Monday, August 31, 2009

My celebrity photo shoot

Today one of Mom's relatives, who writes horse books and designs and sells trail riding tack for natural gaited horses, came to take my picture. We've had trouble getting together since the weather has been so awful, but finally today we had all the right people, in the right place, at the same time, with the sun shining. I was chosen as the model because there were a lot of pictures to be taken, and I have the widest range of skills. Also, there was a lot of unfamiliar equipment, and Brita wanted to work with me because she knew how I would react and that we could work through everything together. When you are in an unfamiliar situation, it's always good to have a familiar partner on your side.

Unfortunately, I hadn't taken a bath. It was a bit cool today, and it was such short notice... Brita got out a spray bottle of smelly stuff, and a towel and polished all of my dirty spots right off. Then she gave me a quick haircut and oiled my hooves, and I was ready for my photo shoot. First I showed how to do neck and back limbering stretches. Those are EASY... there are cookies involved.

Then I got dressed out in the middle of the yard. The author lady had brought a whole pile of strange equipment for me to model. I was very good as everyone dressed me up in weird feeling stuff. The saddle was sort of clunky feeling and had lots of straps in places I've never felt straps. I made little snorty noises to remind everyone to be careful, but I stood quietly in the midst of all the activity. She wanted to show how to teach a horse to ground drive without using any fancy equipment. I'm sort of used to fancy equipment, so all this other stuff made me a little nervous at first, but Mom stayed with me until I felt comfortable, and Brita drove me around the arena. I've never ground driven outside before. I'm used to working in long lines inside an indoor round pen, but I haven't done that in months. I was ready to show how a Saddlebred long lines... Yeah Boy! but that wasn't what they wanted. They wanted me to walk around quietly instead. After this was explained to me, I was very well behaved.

Then they put a bridle on that didn't really fit comfortably. The bit was very strange, and had shanks and a curb strap (which I hate) and it was a little narrow. I was supposed to illustrate how some horses open their mouths against the bit. That was easy! I did a lot of that. I tried and tried to spit it out. Phewy... I didn't like that bit. At.All.

Next, they put a drop caveson on me to make me keep my mouth closed and accept the bit. I still wasn't really happy about the bit, but I understood and complied.
Next Brita put our own tack on (thank Heaven) and we took some pictures trotting and walking over poles. I think I may have blinked.

I was so well behaved and cooperative with all the strange requests and commotion going on and Mom and Brita praised me and thanked me, and I thought it fitting to take a bow. When the book is published I'll let you know.


GoonrGrrl said...

Dude!!! You taught him to BOW??? That's AWESOME!!!!!!

Michele Doepp said...

This is so great!! I really enjoyed seeing all these pictures!