Friday, December 26, 2014

TOABH: Shining Star

Let's talk about the biggest achievements your horse has accomplished. I'm not talking about you as a rider - I want to know what your ponykins has done to make you proud. Is there a glorious satin collection, did he/she figure out some dressage movement that took months to learn, or is it just a great day when your butt stays in the saddle? 

Well, I know it says the achievements your horse has accomplished, but I am so freaking proud of so many of the horses I get to ride that I'll write for a while and see what comes to the top of my head. 

Mr. Tangoose makes me very proud. He's always been so friendly and goofy on the ground, from reaching out to conk you with his skull if you're ignoring him to waggling his lips when you're grooming him. Under saddle has been a different story, but what's made me proud lately is the fact that he's learning to bring this same attitude to our work in the arena. It's not like he's been pulling any strange shenanaigans like some playful horses I know, but you can sort of feel it. It's like his chest expands and his ears go floppy and he's totally playing my game. The first time he committed himself over to me like that, ready to go anywhere and yet not trying to anticipate the next move, I just about cried. It was that neat, swelling pride that chokes you, you know?

Mugging for pets/cookies

When he came to the farm, he would listen, but in a shotgun sort of way. "Oh, you said trot? I will ROCKET FORWARD!" "Oh, you said stop? Surreeeee I'll stop, but you'll either drag me down or I'll unseat you with my abruptness."

I'm going to make the argument that that isn't exactly earning us any points on the submission score. 

Camou, the goose, often impresses me with his ability to clear obstacles even when he has absolutely no impulsion coming in to the jump. Is that the same as a shining moment? Sure. Let's say sure. 

Many people at my farm still think of Jimmy as dangerous, or as a bad horse. And on the ground, he's still a monster to deal with. He dances, chews on lead ropes, swings around to bite you. It's a work in progress. I tried to do a month of treatment for ulcers but I think it was fed to him somewhat inconsistently and obviously that doesn't really work

Under saddle, he's a totally different horse than when I first met him. He's generally game for anything, he has a nice forward pull (when I'm riding him, sometimes he's awfully slow when kids are on him), and he's simply fun to ride. Plus, the fact that kids can ride him at all is totally amazing! 

So that's what makes me proud. The fact that he came around to be able to be ridden by my students. 

Well, I'm still with family in Alabama & I'm getting dragged out of the house for some adventure or another. Fret not, readers! I am proud of all the other horses I ride, and I have many little anecdotes, but I think family is taking me over at the moment. 

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season. 


  1. i love reading about all the different quirks your horses (lesson horses or otherwise) have! they all seem like such characters!