March 23, 2008

Last night while going through old pictures to add to the new website, I found a picture of Wendel (Fahrenheit) cantering to the left during his first competition at 1st level.  It was surprising to see how conformationally challenged he really was at age 6. Looking back, I remember that a foregirth was needed to keep the saddle from sliding up on his shoulders.  Wendel was very high-hipped and had such a weak loin area.  As a matter of fact, his whole back was very weak.  He almost looked sway-backed. 

Later I found a photo showing him trotting in the same direction two years later.  The improvement in his body physic was amazing.  Changes in a horse's body occur slowly. As a trainer, I knew Wendel was getting stronger and more athletic but really didn't notice the dramatic change in his muscular build that developed over time.  He definitely had a much stronger back.  It is not just the "before and after" competitive success and the amount of ribbons earned.  It is the realization that with patient, correct training, horses are able to become strong enough to perform the things we ask of them. The difference in the two photographs was striking.