By Amy Kathleen Miller

A Facebook friend of mine, Randy Kroll, is a photographer and he loves animals.  Since I have a couple of horses, he’s wanted to take photos of them.  Monday was that day, and he shot some photos of me exercising my horses that morning.

It was fun, and it was hard to not stop and do some gabbing that I usually do when people come and are there when I ride.  I usually ride alone, and it can get a little lonesome day after day doing that.  But there are days when John comes out and does some ditch work, and there are weeks when I have assistants to help me with Cheyenne’s hat trick.  Otherwise, I ride alone.

Cheyenne did a good ride for me while Randy was shooting photos, but she didn’t tuck her head like I wanted her to do.  Gypsy didn’t do that well at all while he was there.  It was like she became camera shy and didn’t behave well.  But the photos look good, so you will never know, right?

Cheyenne did well in the photos when it came time for her tricks.  I felt as if she became photogenic.  There was even a moment where she was putting a ball in a hoop and she looked over at Randy as if to say, ” You are watching this, right?”  She even waved the American flag well, and that is her least favorite trick.  I really want her to get this trick down so I can sing the National Anthem while she’s waving it.  I had her do the same tricks for other people Tuesday and she didn’t do as well.  But I do think the more exposure she gets, the better and more experienced she will become.

But riding lessons and tricks are not all we have done with my horses.  We have entertained children at two birthday parties with them, and it was a thrill as well as hard work.  I made a birthday cake from scratch, and made it into the shape of a horse head.  Then I frosted it to resemble horse hair and used candy to make the eyes and nose and the mane.

Gypsy was the main horse to walk kids around on at the parties and, as usual, she did a fabulous job and was well-rewarded for her work.  I have plans to train Cheyenne to also do a choreographed program, while riding in an arena, with music in the background.  I can’t wait until I get to training hard for that.  I want to do all that riding bareback so that I don’t get in her way with tack on.  That is another dream that I am starting to shoot for as a goal for intermissions in rodeos, etc.

What it all boils down to is the thing that I love about working with horses — it’s time spent working on communicating with them in a unique way, time spent forming a relationship that’s based on trust because they have to learn to trust us as humans as much as we have to trust that they will take care of us without putting up too much of a fuss.

I feel that my horses and I have that kind of a bond, but it takes continued effort.  I feel like Randy’s photos shows that bond very well.

All photos used courtesy Randy Kroll

Amy and Gypsy out for a bareback ride.
Bonding time with Gypsy.
Shaking on it with Cheyenne.
Cheyenne takes a bow.
Smiling for the audience.
Giving a little kiss.
“Quality time.”
A ride between performing tricks.
“It’s in the basket. Are you sure you’re getting this, mister?”
Fetching the hat.
After all that work, time to quench that thirst.
One more look at the beautiful Gypsy.

Editor’s Note:  “Amy’s Angle” is a weekly Wednesday feature in this blog.


11 thoughts on “AMY’S ANGLE: Evidence of relationships based on trust

  1. I am always amazed when I see folks around horses… they are so big and powerful yet so calm… I actually have a bot of a fear to be honest…. great post!

    1. That’s where the old saying, “Once you get bucked off you need to get right back on,” comes in. But horses can be intimidating if they aren’t taught to be aware of who’s boss, and safety needs to be observed at all times, even when you’re on the ground.

    2. I am glad that you enjoyed my post about horses. I used to be really fearful but I have learned that the more fearful you are the more likely you are to get hurt. Simply because the horse can detect that too. Then they get nervous because they are looking to the person for support. I really never knew what a horse was capable of until I started to train them to do tricks. Because then I get really close to my horses and they get really closer to me. Horses really want to please so they try really hard to please.

    1. Thank you Roberta, You don’t have horses? Have you ever ridden a horse? There are more article to come about horses after this. Stay tuned.

      1. Hi Amy! No I don’t have a horse but I’m busy rearranging my finances to fix that! I have a horsey blog at that I’ve been writing since 2009. It describes my riding adventures and lessons to date. I too was very fearful when I began riding, and am slowly building up my confidence despite a horrendous accident last year. I find that just being around horses–walking, grooming, bathing them, getting tacked up and untacked–really helps me to relax and enjoy them. Am looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  2. I read your post, it is a very nice story. Just keep up with horses and you will succeed. I need John, my husband, to get a job so we don’t have to be so tight with our money. My blogs are every Wednesday and I will read more of yours.

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