I increased Luke’s aerobic load during my ride on Sunday and he seemed to be fine. I’m still nervous though. I’d like to find some things we can do that build muscle without having to run so much.
There must be some kind of Pilates for horses. Right? Perhaps lateral work and backing up would do the trick but he’s pretty confused about some of the moves I’ve been trying to teach him.
I’m still kind of emotional about Luke’s diagnosis. I think about lungs and breathing a lot now.
In my yoga classes, we always start out focusing on our breath. I try to picture the breaths in and out traveling around in a continuous smooth circle, with no pauses in the cycle.
I watch Luke’s sides, measuring the air going in and out, holding my hand in front of his nose to feel the warm puffs, then putting my nose by his to breathe in the air he breathes out. Weird, I know, but like the yoga exercises, it settles me.
Luke stands patiently through all the hugging and burying my face against his neck. He stands completely still while I take my moments to feel the warmth he radiates and while my eyes search his, trying to judge his thoughts and send my “You are important to me” thoughts through telepathic air waves.
I’ve never had a horse like Luke, that would be so still and not swing his head into my nose or face, causing mind-blowing pain. It’s not that Luke doesn’t spook at times or get pushy but he seems to know when to be still.
The funny thing is, the first several years I had him, he was nothing like that. He was standoffish and downright cranky. And if Luke became frightened while I was riding him, he would rear and spin, which was a bit frightening for me.
But Luke changed and so did I. We got to know each other and gained confidence together.
Luke’s been my teacher for quite awhile, and I wonder what the next lesson will be.