. . . whereupon I talk to a psychic about Ashke and make a breakthrough on the bitless bridle.
Talking to the psychic, a woman named Danielle who offers communication between humans and their pets/animals based here in Colorado, was my Christmas gift from J and T. Diane, the chiropractor, recommended we contact her and see what Ashke had to say. J and I decided it was important to see if this would help in deepening the relationship between Ashke and I. I scheduled the conversation, which takes place over the phone, for yesterday afternoon. I was pretty skeptical, but at the end of the conversation, I was pretty sold on her ability.
Now, mind you, I am a fairly strong believer in psychic ability, in spirits, in the unseen world that surrounds us. It is one of my beliefs I've carried since I was a child. Living with unseen guests in our home has only strengthened and deepened my belief. However, I was pretty skeptical of her ability to communicate with Ashke through a picture. Not so skeptical any more. It was a pretty amazing conversation.
Top things to take away from the conversation:
10. Ashke is not damaged mentally. He sees himself as strong and healthy and likes what we are doing. He knew he wasn't supposed to stay with Steve and was waiting for his person.
9. Hates the bit. Both of them. Wants to try going bitless.
8. Sees himself as very fast. Wants to race. Wants to gallop. Wants to go. Wants to do long distance racing. Sees himself crossing finish lines.
7. Sees me as a fruit loop (or the psychic's interpretation of the image). Round with a hole in the middle. Wanted me to know he doesn't want me to fall off, he is trying to help me stay on.
6. Identified his right hip as having a bone bruise and tightness in the hamstring. He said he fell, on accident. Reassured me he usually is really great on his feet. Also identified a spot four fingers above the fetlock on the right hind leg where the tendon is very tight. (Feels like a splint happened there. Gave it some attention last night.) He told me the right hamstring is being agravated by a "wrinkled" muscle along his ribs that's tied up over his right flank.
5. Misses spending time with me. He blames the cold and dark winter months for my not being able to be at the barn as much. Unfortunately, I can't really fix this while T is in school. I need to be at home helping with homework, listening to trombone practice, hanging out with my son.
4. Does not want me petting any other mares. He feels a very strong sense of loyalty to me and wants me to feel the same for him. Seems to think I am planning on replacing him with a mare. Assured him I am not.
3. Hates being dirty. Was very thankful that the first thing we did was clean him up. He loves his color and wants to be seen as beautiful.
2. Loves his mane cut short. Hated the long tangles it had. This amused the psychic, who though most Arabians would prefer their manes long. He does want the ends evened up though. J is willing to oblige.
1. Wants more treats. Said this several times. Wants to play games and be rewarded with treats. Won't bite. Wants more treats. Licks my hands and my clothes as a show of affection, the way a mare licks her foal.Wants me to understand he is being affectionate, not mean.
He also said he wants me to talk to him outloud. He likes hearing what I want from him. I should always give the commands verbally. He said he is very smart and very mature. He trusts me and loves to follow me around. He asked that I walk him around the arena a couple of times before getting on him to ride (I've done this in the past, but haven't been consistent.) He says he likes it because it gives us a chance to get in tune with each other. He knows I have a medical issue with my lower back and is trying to help me fix it. I asked him to be patient while I am regaining strength there.
Last night, in response to his request, I moved back to the first bit I used. While I was doing that I was talking to Denise, owner of Wrangler who loves to trail ride, and asked her what she rode in. She said she used a sidepull, since Wrangler hated the bitless bridle cheek pressure. She said she had an extra one I could try, if I wanted, since it was way too small for Wrangler's head (he's Morgan and has a huge head). I told her that would be awesome, if she didn't mind. She brought it to the arena and I traded out the bit when I saw her.
He was light and responsive and didn't fight the pressure much. The only issue we had was when I asked him to back up it took him a moment to understand what I wanted, but then he ducked his head and backed right up. Denise offered to sell me the sidepull and I'm definitely going to take her up on it. I want to try the bitless bridle I bought just to compare, but am leaning toward sending it back. Denise said I could use the sidepull until the other one came in and she would sell it to me cheap if I wanted it. Going to pay her for it the next time I see her.
We galloped a lot last night, on the correct lead and everything, and I worked on getting my body to do what I wanted it to do. Still struggling. It will get better and he won't call me a fruit loop any more.
Didn't bite at my pants when I got on him.
He also got lots of treats.
Can't wait to ride out on the trail on Saturday to see how the bitless bridle works for him. And we have a Christmas party on Friday night at the barn, so that should be exciting too.