Mike Thomas picked me up at 5:15 am Saturday, July 12, at the Log Wagon Inn in Wickenburg, and we headed over to Buddy Uldrikson's Horsemanship Clinic near Congress. Buddy had trailered Big Al over to a pen near the arena where Becky, Mike and I planned to work him in the clinic, but when we got to the pen at quarter to 6, we found Big Al hyped up and spacey. He doesn't exactly get jumpy - he's more like a big black battle tank running on high octane, about to take over and do things his own way. Since "his own way" might mean rearing, running you over and hauling down the road sparks a-flyin', he needed to get straightened out before we mixed in with other horses and people. Buddy and Mike agreed that I probably wouldn't be riding him that day.
Buddy saddled him with Mike's beautiful comfy saddle and headed off to run the clinic. Mike knuckled down to help Big Al work through his zoned-out self-protective "you-humans-are-as-flies-to-me" attitude. The sun rose behind them, lending glamour to the scene.
The pictures above are beautiful, but don't really show Big Al's state of mind that morning. The next ones do.
He's looking for boogeymen and doesn't believe Mike can help him out.
Mike said he was "lost". Buddy and Mike both said he has a problem with being herd-bound.
"I'll do it but I don't want to."
"I'm upset and I don't have to listen."
There, that's a little better. Looks like they're dancing.
Starting to get some bend and softness. It'll soon be time to take Big Al down to the arena. (Continued in Part Two... )
5 years ago