In Defense of Caesar
Silhouette by Judith Housel
I blog a lot of smack about Previous Horse, aka Caesar, show name Seize The Day:
He was a cranky, opinionated PIA. Caesar only ever loved Caesar. He cared not a whit if I fell off. [Dreary Monday]
Previous Horse was the most stubborn being I have ever met. When he said No, he meant, No, that is not physically possible, no horse has ever done it, I will not even consider it. [Casting a Shadow from Beyond]
The only way to deal with a strong-willed horse is to be even stronger. I know this. I spent 20 years keeping Previous Horse’s monstrous ego in check. [Grooming Bats]
He certainly was a grumpy bastard.
Most of the time he was a perfectly normal horse. I tend to talk about those aspects that distinguish him from other horses. Like the time he launched all four legs off the ground. While tied to the trailer. At the age of 22.
But I digress.
Caesar was athletic. He carried himself in a compact package. I never got tired of watching him move in the field. We never bothered much with gymnastics. We’d set up a line. He’d bop through. ‘That was easy. What’s next?’ I asked him to trot a line of cavalleti to make him round and stretch. He treated the exercise as a line of spread bounces: jump two, bounce between the next two, jump two, bounce…
Caesar was balanced. He never saw the point of obsessing over the correct lead on a turn. If it was a wide turn, he’d zoom around using whichever lead he was on at the time. If it was a tight turn, he throw in a flying change. I never taught him these. He just did them as needed.
Caesar had a sense of fairness. He would misbehave. I would wallop him. He’d shrug. If I lost my head and gave him a gentle, attention-getting tap with a crop, he would leave off what he was doing and have complete come-apart at the injustice.
Caesar had opinions. Loud ones. A friend was drumming business for a horse whisperer. Even she agreed that Caesar didn’t need to be whispered. He made his feelings clear.
Caesar never made me nervous about getting on. Even from day one. He is the only horse of whom I can say this. We reached.
Caesar, aka Previous Horse – 16h, bay, Thoroughbred gelding, b. 1983. Bought at age 6 off the track. Showed Adult Jumpers. Died peacefully at home in 2009 at the age of 26. [Cast of Critters]