Hoofin’ It North - Clinic Junkies

by Rebecca on September 7, 2006

in Animal Stories

My name is Flicka and my Owner’s a clinic junky.

Yes, it’s true. She went thru her mid-life crisis and came to the sale barn
and bought me.

I spent my whole life misbehaving and being passed from greenhorn to
greenhorn till someone finally got smart and sent me to the sale barn.  I
was seriously hoping to be picked up by one of those show horse fella’s so I
could live in a fancy barn and stand around and look pretty, but they told
me my butt’s too small, my heads too big, and the crest on my neck from a
bout with grass founder (thanks to owner number 2) is not desirable, and in
general I was just not that capable of looking pretty, so I went home with
Phyllis instead.

She pets me and loves me, and in general I had a pretty good life at first.

Then she heard about those guys who whisper to horses. Life has never been
the same.

First there was Pat. At Pat’s clinic Phyllis learned to twirl a big stick
and chase me around a round pen till I was ringing wet with sweat.  Once I
had quote “calmed down” (I was never really fired up in the first place till
that guy came at me with the stick like an idiot) she began learning to ride
me with no bridle. Talk about giving an

old spoiled horse an opportunity to have some fun!  Initially I went

along with it. I’d lope around the pen real nice like, and everyone would
oooh and cooo over my “natural horse”  abilities.

Then, just when everyone had gathered around to watch, I would see the
SCARIEST!! (tehehehe) shadow in the history of scary shadows and switch
directions and take off with my rider clinging terrified to my back. Every
other horse on the place was envious of me because their owners would take
them out back and beat them with that overpriced stick when no one was
watching, but I knew my Phyllis would not.

Eventually Philly (as I like to call her) gave up on the whole natural horse
idea when Pat tried to talk her into jumping me without a bridle over some

Off we went in search of another guru. In our search we found Monty.

He threw a string at a horse and talked to the horse with winks and stares.

I spent some time with his clinic horses. I saw the demonstration where an
unbroken 2 year old became an overnight Reiner.

Later I talked to the 2 year old. He was actually 5 and had been doing this
same routine for about 5 clinics now. The first time Phyllis broke out the
string I again, went along with it. Well, until she got tired of me stopping
and looking at her like she was stupid. When she went to get herself a glass
of water and refer to that chapter in Monty’s book, I grabbed the string and
chewed it to pieces.

And this is how I got my Jolly ball!

Then there was the Indian fella with a name I can’t pronounce. To get the
full effect of his clinic Philly painted stuff on my body and put feathers
in my hair. I looked like I was in a Costume class, but hey whatever floats
your boat. I thought maybe at least with this guy we might get to play
Indian pony games and have mock battles or something but no. More round pen
work and gimmicks.  This time there was a fire in the middle of the round
pen and they danced around it while praying that I would become a good horse
and always mind my owner. He only took her for a couple thousand pelts and a
bottle of firewater.

There’s been the Australian guy. Training with a Boomerang while he hopped
around like a kangaroo and called me his mate… “Sorry fella, your cute and
all but my mate has 4 legs. I Just don’t’ swing interspecies.”

A horse psychic who told Phyllis my momma didn’t lick me enough when I was

A guy who used his hands like ears to talk to me and of course the touchy
feely lady.

I can’t complain though.  I’ve got an owner who loves me and has

devoted her time to trying to make me a better horse. I really should
behave, really I should, but I think I am contributing to her youth by
giving her a reason to take me to all these clinics. Maybe the next clinic
will involve turning me out with the mustangs so I find my inner wild

Sincerely, Flicka

Previous post:

Next post: