I hope that you know what a difference you have made in my life. Now I know that people who don’t love horses can hardly imagine why anyone would think that learning how to work with your 4-year-old Thoroughbred could be a life changing experience, but those of you reading this who do love horses and mules will know exactly what I mean. While I have spent most of my life around horses either as a rider or as an equine veterinarian, I realized long ago that learning about them was a lifelong process. Then 2 years ago I made a terrible decision that cost both of my beloved horses their lives and I was sure that I would or should never be granted the honor of having another young horse to care for. But of course life is just no fun without a horse, so along came my then 3-year old Lake. Lake needed some time off to heal from his race training, and stall rest did not make him into a quiet young man, but I was confident that he was well within my sights and abilities. Of course, (as soon as you think you know something about horses..)
I found myself more than a little out manned this past spring trying to figure out how to stay on this big old Thoroughbred who had come into my life with quite a leap and a jolt. After spending a couple of nights gobbling down Excedrin tablets to recover from hitting the ground-my friend Cheryl Ellis reminded me that Jerry could help me with this little bucking problem. Of course the real issue was not the bucking, as those of you who know the JT program already know, but it was sure a big painful symptom of the problem. Suffice it to say that Lake has learned a lot of respect for JT – as have I – and better yet Lake is slowly but surely becoming convinced that he should also respect me- at least on the good days. I am still in the early learning stages of this lifelong learning process, but it would be an understatement to say that I am a lot better off now than I was last spring! P.S.: For those of you who ride English… aside from refusing to ride himself in the little postage stamps that we call saddles… everything Jerry is about is the horse, and that has nothing to do with the saddle you are riding in, so don’t hesitate to bring your English tack to the clinics!
Melinda MacDonald, D.V.M.
Davis, CA 12/09/09