Tuesday, February 4, 2020


It's pretty easy for me to forget just how cool my horse is.  Yes, he has melt downs sometimes but most of the time?  He's just the coolest pony.

He jumps, he dressages, he does western, and he'll do all three while carting around a very nervous rider.  Since I took over his training and care, he's taught three different riders that jumping is supposed to be fun.  He was the first cantering partner for two nervous adult ladies.  This time I tossed on a new friend so she could try his western gear.  I hopped on her adorable little white pony (and realized her child sized saddle really does not fit my middle aged posterior). 

Theo showed her how a turn on the forehand works, how to back up nicely, and what a jog is like.  She went from being terrified of the huge horse to jogging around comfortably and giggling.  Compared to her short striding partner, Theo felt huge.  Theo, being Theo, put his head down and jogged around like the old pro he is.  When she struggled with dismounting from a western saddle, he stood like a statue and waited for her to figure it out.

The dichotomy with him is so striking.  He can be so very naughty but I trust him so much when it comes to teaching.  He knows his job and is perfectly happy to do it.  His new friend gave him cookies and lots of pats so it was a good night in his eyes.  Minimal work, maximal love.

I rocked around on the pony to try him out, he was a bit like a little sports car once I gave him a big poke with my western spurs on.  The jeans were not at all comfy in the jump saddle and my calves will have interesting marks tomorrow but it was fun.  I may need to kidnap the pony for a jumping ride in the future.  Very jealous of his autoswap.

I offered my friend to put her in Theo's dressage tack and show her how to go sideways.  She looked intrigued.

My horse is a treasure.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

The great unknown

I went for a trail ride today.

I'm taking this as a victory.  I rode Theo out in the open in the middle of winter.  Like riding in corn fields out in the open.  I only felt like crying once and only begged for 'my mommy and vodka' once.  For the most part I did fine and even took pictures.

Theo didn't put a foot wrong during our school in the arena or during our 20+ minute trail ride.  Thank you, Theo, for being a damn saint even when your mom is convinced things are going to go wrong.  Let's be fair, I have a long history of Theo melting down when taken somewhere new and exposed.  But I've also been stuck in the role of 'advanced rider' which means Theo is in the front and has to cope with whatever meltdown is happening behind him.  It's not relaxing.

I'm sure it was confusing for my friend on Legs that knew me with Fiona.  Back when I was addicted to hunter paces and was known to do three or four hour trail rides.  All of a sudden going out for a trail ride with friends was outside of my reach.  I was genuinely terrified when they pointed to the trail we were going to follow.  No trees, no cover, and Theo had never seen it before.  Oh, and Legs had bolted on this trail in the recent past.  I nearly backed out but my friend gave me a look and I followed them out to the great unknown.  Which turned out to really be the great unknown because I didn't know about any of these loops or fields we can ride on.  H/J barn with trail riding?  Wow.

It was awesome.  Theo was so happy to get out of the indoor and just walk around.  About half way through I actually relaxed and let go of his face, earning a big snort and sigh from my patient pony.  With two perfect trail ponies for company, this was not problem for him.  By halfway through, it was no problem for me, either.

I guess I'll be participating in Saturday trail rides with my friends in the future.  Theo is thrilled.