Bellagio "B" Story
Bellagio was a halter show horse in the Arabian show horse circuit where the practices are to scare the horse to be “animated” to have that long regal neck, alert ears and high set tail. Not only that but he spent most of his time in a 12×12 stall pacing and trapped in his own mind. Arabian horses are very smart, very emotionally sensitive, can be overstimulated, fast, and have lots of stamina with elegance so they need lots of understanding, space, consistency and someone who can slow down with them.
The first time I rode him he took off on me and I knew we were meant to be together (crazy right?). I had the thought if I can slow down all that was happening with him, we could build something great. I had friends help with training as he and I learned about each other. There were days that I wanted to be farther along in our growth than we were, and he would remind me that he needed me to give him more safety than I needed to improve our skills.
I had bought him for the prospect of being back in the English saddle with a jumping prospect. That was my idea of fun. Quickly we learned that it was not for him. His brain would go one way and his body would go the other (part of being overstimulated, asking too much and being agile and smart) creating a lot of unsafe situations that stressed everyone involved. So, we decided to try something else, something that he would get excited about and that I could enjoy him to the fullest at what he is capable of…running, exploring long distances in the world of endurance riding!
We spent 3 years working on balance, trusting each other that we can keep each other safe, having his own self-confidence, boundaries and just mentally slow down to learn new information and not be so scared.
He has taught me that our strengths are sometimes hidden in our stress, fears, trauma and that if we give ourselves the time, with patience and space to work them out we have more days of seeing our successes, strengths, and skills. He’s taught me that ALL our emotions are valid and that we have the right to express them and the right to have people in our lives listen to them and support us. We just need to listen to them and have people who love and support our emotional growth!
There are days that people meet him, and I get nervous because I remember the scared, mistrusting, reactive horse that maybe two people could ride. In those moments of fear, he reminds me that all the hard work, dedication and consistency paid off and I can picture him saying “don’t worry I got this, we did good!”
He has transformed my heart and life! When I see him teach others to accept themselves and trust the process, I KNOW HEALING IS REAL!!
He has taught me to JUST “B”!!!