Olimpia (pronounced oh-leem-BEE-a) is one of the loveliest mares I've ever come across. She is beloved by everyone at the Cretan Riding Academy, where I had the privilege to get to work with her three times.
The first time was to simply use her as a docile equine specimen to teach someone about groundwork (I posted a video about this in October!). Olimpia was quiet, calm, and seemingly un-ruffleable!
The second time was at the request of her regular rider, Cretan ParaOlympian Eleni (Dhmhtra-Elenh Pantechakh) to see if I could get Olimpia to really trot out with the clucking sound (from the ground). That went great, too.
The third time was at the request of Marianna Grammatikaki, the owner/head trainer at the academy. Marianna told me that, yes, Olimpia was a calm, nice horse, except when it came to geese.
So, you see, the Academy has a kind of mini petting/feeding zoo on the far side of the riding arena. My beloved miniature stallions Tzeri and Asterix (you have gotten to know them through me since August on my timeline!) have their stalls there, as do the other mini mares, and Bongo, a gelding. In between are cute goats and obnoxious geese. The geese are sometimes let loose to wander around the Academy grounds, and then they always return home for feeding time. It is when the geese are loose, Marianna said, that Olimpia has lost her mind.
In this clip, I had only one hour left to work Olimpia before I would return to the USA, so I pulled out a bunch of tricks from my bag to get her to focus, relax, concentrate, and connect with me. All this, to help her then hold herself together when the geese were let loose at my request.
The geese, of course, helped us tremendously by being loud, in the way, and always on the move.
Olimpia impressed me with her willingness to play along with me, no matter what I threw at her, tarps, desensitizing with a lunging whip, and...geese.
She is no doubt an extremely special horse who had very good handling. A gorgeous mare, inside and out.
I hope you enjoy this video...I sure enjoyed being in it!