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this beautiful horse that sadly isn't mine... This video was filmed last year.
I've been riding Niko for nearly 3 years now, and it's the only horse, from the many I've met and ridden, that has my 'touch', even though he's not mine: -from a horse that used to walk and trot and gallop with a high attitude, clearly out of control of the rider's hand, he has now a low attitude most of time, and therefore is way more flexible -from a horse that needed spurs and stick to make this huge favour that is moving, now he just needs to feel my spurs -from a horse that always jumped one step before the obstacle, now he has a way more professional technic -from a horse that wouldn't let me touch him, now he kisses me
And all of that are 2 years of hard work, both mine and his. My hard work to gain his trust, his hard work to learn to trust me.
And he won't behave like that with anyone else. Not even with my instructor.
When I started riding at the military club I had lessons with a colonel, and I was approved to jump obstacles by another colonel. The colonel I had most of my lessons with, Colonel Falcão, had this huge respect for Niko; he valorized him a lot, because of his personality and, in spite of his blind left eye, Niko always did what he was supposed to do, especially when I started to ride him. But Colonel Falcão was already an old man, and I haven't seen him since last year. I have been given lessons by Mike, the civilian instructor.
He started by creating Niko and me a problem, because we spent a whole year without jumping, working his attitude, and when we started to jump Niko again didn't want to. Look at him now, this was last week:
So far, everything sounds good, right?
It happens that, in the military club, among all the civilian associates, I'm the only one with the 1st level exam done and with experience of competitions. Let alone the nearly 10 years of experience in dealing with horses. So a few months ago, Mike decided to put some kids jumping too. Kids who can barely 'drive' their horses in a straight line without losing a stirrup and who hold onto the reins for dear life.
The reins lead to a piece of metal. The piece of metal is inside the horse's mouth. Isn't it adorable?
So, to jump, the kids need to ride Niko. And let me clear this out: Niko is not a horse for children. He behaves with me, but that's a whole different story. Niko has no difficulty in sending the INSTRUCTOR right to the ground, leave alone a kid.
I am very proud to say I'm the only one who that horse has never harmed for malice. Because yes, Niko, in all his cuteness and competence, is a very malicious horse. I've seen that, but I managed to deal with that.
So you can imagine what happens to the kids. Yes, they suffer. There is this one kid whose mother requested Mike to put her beloved son doing exactly the same as me, because OMG, it's so easy to jump an obstacle!
It's so easy, but so easy! It doesn't matter that the kid(s) can't even saddle a horse and bring him to the arena, no! To jump, all you have to do is to fucking sit and head to the obstacle.
I'd laugh, but it's so sad and revolting I can't.
Anyway, the kids don't like Niko. Niko doesn't like them. The kids say Niko bites, and kicks, and charges out of the arena and they end up falling off, and he doesn't move even if they beat him really hard with the stick. To solve this, my instructor came up with the most logical solution. Giving proper horses (if there's a horse who deserves such kids...) to those kids?
Hell no, it's all Niko's fault, because he's a stupid blind bastard! That's it! It's all the horse's fault!
So, because my instructor does so, the kids don't hesitate to beat Niko. They are kicked and beaten in return, but I guess human beings ARE dumb...
Lately, I've found Niko with little wounds; last month he had a gash a little above his hip joint, from being beaten with the stick; last week he had a little scratch on the inner side of his forearm; and today he had a small cut on his nose, under the noseband.
-he's not a military horse, therefore the privates don't saddle him -when I arrive (wel, whenl all of us civilian associates arrive) the horses are already ready to go And I always find him dirty and the saddle is always out of place.
I don't know if it's the instructor or the man that is in charge of cleaning the horses/stables and saddling the horses... and I must confess that I don't want to know, for the greater good of any of them.
I really miss the colonels; they were the only instructors I had that respected and valorized the horses. And the rider too.
Niko is going to be 20 years-old this year. He dies, I move to another school.