My horse’s butt. I love it.
Horses have great butts. Mine’s is small, tight and muscular, quite the rear end I’d like to have myself. Alas, it’s not the best butt for a horse. Horses are better off with wide and generously fleshy behinds… (should we swap, then ??)
Why does a slim butt has to do with an uphill battle ?
Well, my horse is a Portugese crusado, which means he’s half purebred Lusitano (full blood Portugese) and half… something else. He was actually born in, and imported from, Portugal, so some sort of a classy mutt. Spanish/Portugese breeds are perfect for classic “Dressage”. Horses built upwards, with erect necks proudly carrying high expressive heads, and fiery temperaments. They’re also smart, honest… and opiniated
What I’m trying to achieve is put a Reining pattern on him. Reining is a Western discipline, and the fastest growing riding sport in the world today, according the the NRHA (National Reining Horse Association). Reining is best performed by American breeds like the Quarter Horse, and it’s colorful counterpart, the Paint Horse. Those breeds have a conformation almost opposite to that of a Portugese or Spanish horse, though originally the former descends from the latter (!). Quarter and Paint horses are generally built “downwards”, with big powerful butts, horizontal toplines and natural low head/neck carriage. Some will say they are also pretty “malleable” and more readily trained than most breeds
Our coach has us doing all kind of fancy dressage drills
Bending and counter bending and crossing feet and all
Sometimes the poor horse feels like a giant rubber band
And backing up
Or stopping a little sharp
Here’s that butt again, here I’m disengaging the hindquarters from the ground, a little drill I do routinely prior to hopping on
Then yielding the forequarters, in hope to teach him to pivot on his rear end, which is much more tricky, as you can see. The goal is to get those front feet to cross, and here, they did
Crossed again. Who said riding wasn’t hard work ? 😉
Then again, despite all the practice and the ups and downs, these are the most peaceful moments I can think of
From a photographic point of view, all those shots were taken by my friend Claude and his Sony SLT-A77II, with Sigma 50-150/2.8
And processed by me in Photoshop, then Snapseed (for the record, ALL jepg files !)
Post work out. I normally stay on and he goes deep in the pond, but I had to remove his front legboots and keep the rear ones out of the water !
That’s one of the best attitudes he had the whole session
Some could argue that I’d be better served with a more suited horse for my discipline of choice…
But we’ve worked hard already and we have a great relationship. That matters more to me than shining in any program…
This little horse goes against his own genetics and his very conformation, trying to fit the things I ask of him. And that is humbling. He’s not going anywhere, anytime soon 😉