Sour Side Up, Milton
The Gray Wonder
As the excitement from the show wore off, I grew increasingly disappointed in Milton’s response. I put a lot of effort into getting ready for Mid-South [Report]. I wanted to put on a good show, okay, I wanted to show off in front of the community that has been so accepting of me over the past seven years. That’s the best we can do? Seriously Horse, you can’t even wrap your head around a simple flat class? I’m not saying he needed to be perfect. Just to try.
I’m not fussing about our placing. In all probability, our ribbons would have been exactly the same if he had been the gender-bent reincarnation of Rox Dene. I’m disappointed in the theatrics. I’m disappointed that he had a come-apart at the first sign of imagined adversity.
We have worked hard to bring Milton along gradually. He cannot complain about being rushed. Sure, he’s had good days and good moments. However, he’s never really risen to the occasion. More like doing a decent job of grasping the next tiny step we have carefully laid out in front of him. This time he couldn’t even do that.
Is this my life now, a horse who loses his cool at the first hint of complication?
Yes, he’s a Thoroughbred. I’ve ride TBs all my life. Aside from Matilda, all my horses have been TBs, off the track and otherwise. I know from TB hysteria. This is an extreme reaction to minor stimuli. A serious case of easily overwhelmed and then not handling the overwhelm. Without a payback in performance on good days. The mare who won Badminton this year is apparently a PIA 364 days of the year. But on that one good day, she wins a five-star international event. This you put up with.
Time for a return on our investment. Not just of money, but of time, of effort, of thought, of the days we spent trailering him so that he can work in a ring, of going slowly, of spending time away from home on non-compete trips, of choosing small simple competitions at places he knows.
Last week, I started our open field training. After one lap around the pasture by himself, Milton was covered with nervous sweat. One lap. At a slow walk. Through areas he grazes daily.
Dude needs to step up.
At some point, it’s supposed to be fun. Otherwise, why do it?
I’ll get over myself in a day or two.
Thank you for reading,