Fun fact. I am absolutely addicted to old music- anything from Big Band to 80’s. I love Perry Como. And for my entire ride today, I had the song “Magic Moments” stuck in my head. Ya know, magic moments…filled with love. 😉 But for real.
I was stranded at the barn for the whole evening, so I ended up working with my nephew’s pony DS ( who was terrible, more on that later.) and when I was done, I decided to tack Red up and have an easy ride. It, of course, started raining as soon as my bridle was on, but I got on anyways since it was just a light shower and crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t bug Red. I didn’t have many expectations for the ride and didn’t really push much, just wanted to kill time and walk around and enjoy the evening, but man, he was ready to work. I warmed him up at the walk for a few minutes but quickly realized he really didn’t need much. The ground was wet so I didn’t do any cantering, which sucks because with how he was acting I would’ve LOVED to. Our arena ground gets slick and I didn’t want to chance it. I started off with a loose rein, working on neck reining a bit and let him trot at whatever pace he liked. For the first few minutes of every ride I like to let him relax and do things at his own speed as long as he’s not just terrible, normally he’ll have his head a bit higher than I prefer or his trot will be a bit faster than is ideal, but today he was perfect immediately. He started off beautifully, and I was impressed from the get go. These are the rides that make me so thankful for this horse. Once I saw how he was going to go I quickly dismounted, set my phone up for video and hopped back on. Gotta get those moments taped so people believe me. 😉 Terrible video stills, as usual, but they’re better than nothing.
He had a couple moments of wanting to turn too quickly or stop at the gate, but overall..it was so much better than it has been lately, very easy to nip in the bud and get him to stop and continue on. Arena rides get boring to write about, we rode for about 40 minutes, he was incredible, did some trot pole work, some polishing on his backing (which he’s now doing much better with again.) and neck reining, and quite a few laps of trot because it was so fabulous and I didn’t want to do anything else, lol.
Because of this, and the fact that y’all are probably getting very bored with dull posts, I’ll brag on my horse, and be sentimental.
I’ve had this horse for three and a half years, which is insane. It feels like I’ve had him for a year, tops, at times, but other times…like today, it feels like I’ve had him ever since he was a foal because I’ve never felt such a connection with any other horse, I’ve never known a horse as well as I know him.
I’ve ridden him through his bucks, his crowhops, his bolting. I’ve been the one to ride him from the get go. Through the laziness in the beginning, having to be equipped with the crop. Through the terrible trot that everyone literally refused to ride because it really was terrible. Through the terrible backing skills (AKA nonexistent.) that he had. Through everything. And while I’ve certainly had help and haven’t been doing these things alone, he’s had one trainer ride. One. And other people very rarely ride him. I’ve done this nearly on my own. And it’s cool and ridiculously satisfying to know that I taught him how to back, how to trot well, and, eventually, I’ll be the one who got him to canter around consistently without bucking. I believe this. I know this. When literally everyone who knew him doubted me, I kept my hopes up and I believed in this horse, in myself, and now, I’m reaping what I sowed, and that’s amazing to see. It’s amazing to ride this horse now. Even when we have bad rides, there is always good. There’s almost always some sort of improvement. And even when he acts up, I know he’s trying.
That’s enough for me.
Yesterday, I was fighting back tears because of this horse. My riding, although I noticed a few flaws as I always do that I want to fix (if only I could just out back habits and just stop, lol.) was a lot better than the days before. My heels stayed down, my leg stayed solid and still, hands still need work but for the most part, I felt like not only was he working well, I was, too. We were in sync. I noticed that I had to ride less and less today, if that makes sense. There was less nudging necessary, less steering, less bumping the reins to remind him, hey, collect up. He did 99% of everything on his own without a hitch.
That’s even cooler to see.
This horse, he’s getting things now. He goes into a ride saying, right, I know what to do, let me do it. He was just awesome. Not to say he’s show worthy right now, or God’s gift to western riding, but man…he’s such a different horse.
I’m even seeing more muscle gaining in the right places, proof for me that he’s starting to work the right muscles when we’re riding.
He backed up without a fuss for a huge length of the round pen, he went over the pole without a fight, and then, at the end of the ride when he’s normally his worst and keeps a higher head and is a bit more choppy in whatever gait we’re in, I gave him rein and let him do whatever he wanted. Disclaimer – my reins look tight in this because I didn’t expect him to go so low. I was prepared for a bad trot like he usually does when being gate sour at the end of a ride, I loosened them after another beat.
He stretched like this for the entire lap and only stopped because I asked for him to woah.
Who is this horse?
After that, I dismounted, loosened his cinch, and walked him back to the barn. With a ride like that, I wanted to be sure I ended on a good note, and it was a long ride anyways. To make things even sweeter, when I turned him out, instead of going with the herd, he followed me around for a few minutes. When I went to drive the UTV around for a few minutes, he followed the fenceline with the UTV.
Farrier is coming today and I have a concert to be at tonight so he gets the day off then we’ll be back at it again hopefully on Saturday! 🙂