Friday, July 8, 2011
I love my horse
I haven't ridden my horses much the last couple years. I rode Cody once last fall and once this spring, and none of the others for almost 2 years! And I haven't done anything with them other than trim hooves and vaccinate/worm. So, when I pulled Chico out of the pasture today with the intent to work with him and see how rusty he was after almost 2 years off, I didn't have high expectations. But boy was I surprised! Chico was calm, accepted saddling without batting an eye, and lunged paying close attention to my cues. I couldn't quite believe he was so good, so still taking it slow, I decided to lead him through the woods first and work with him a bit away from the others to make sure this wasn't a side effect of being at home. He was awesome on our walk through the woods, following me respectfully. A couple times, he stopped to look at something he heard (squirrels) but otherwise, he showed no real concern for the fact that we had left the herd behind. We ended up at my neighbor's and visited for a bit, while Chico waited patiently and grazed part of their lawn. Then, while still talking to them, I got him ready to ride (tightened the cinch, slapped the stirrups, bridled him, flexed him to the bit - all of which he accepted readily). Then I climbed on, made him wait a bit more while we finished visiting, then took off on a ride. I didn't make it a long ride, since it was already almost noon and a hot day, but we did ride for a bit, then headed home. He was so good, I didn't see any need to drill a long ride into him. Really, he rode like he had been ridden every day the last 2 years instead of having that whole time off. In fact, I think he may have even mellowed with age over those two years. He's 7 now, and he had been ridden extensively his 3, 4, and 5 year old years. I was really just so pleased with my horse. I can't believe it took me this long to just go out and climb on him. I guess I was avoiding him after his long break because I didn't know what to expect from him after giving him such a long break (having never done it before), but all that did was make his break even longer. Although it doesn't matter. I'm so pleased to have a horse that I can let stand and still go out and ride him whenever. That will be very important over the next several years!