Ever since Visa died, I’ve dubbed April 17th as my very own “National Pony Day” to celebrate the life of the horse who started it all. I never work, and I always spend the day at the barn just being there. Each year the weather has always been great, and somehow the horses are always stellar, almost as if Visa is looking down and ensuring that I always have good rides, so I never, ever forget how much I love horses. This year I was blessed to have unseasonably warm weather (80*!) and three lovely horses to ride.
I rode Miles first, anticipating a bit of a fight. Our ride the day before had been lackluster, and I actually gave up on arena work and hit the trails with friends instead. To my surprise, Miles was fantastic. We had some really good walk and trot work, and our canter was perfection. He picked up his leads right away, didn’t anticipate too badly, and galloped off when I asked. He didn’t even spook at the “scary corner” of the outdoor. We finished up with a walk down between the pastures to cool out, and then he got a rinse off with some hand-grazing to dry off.
Next up I hopped on Moiya, who was equally as fabulous. She is such a different horse outside — much quieter, and happier. She was sluggish to start, especially at the walk and trot, so I only did a little bit (enough to get her warmed up) and then went right into canter work. A few circles, ensuring we were bending correctly and going deep in the corners, and I went back to trot work. After our cantering, Moiya was awake, and I was able to get some really great quality trot. She likes to either ignore your left aids, or hang on them, so we worked to the left a lot, getting her to respect my leg and hand. It didn’t take long (it never does), and I again finished cooling her out with a walk down the lane.
I finished up my day with Romeo — my BFF’s horse. He had his hocks injected last week, and has been on a conservative “recovery” plan. I hand-walked him on Friday, tack walked for about 15 minutes on Saturday and then got to walk AND trot on Sunday. Romeo is very athletic, super well-trained and extremely sensitive. He is the epitome of a “jumper” … and that is not my style of horse or my comfort zone. He’s always a challenge for me to ride because I constantly get the feeling that I’m pushing buttons I don’t even know I’m pushing. He’s always great for his “Aunt Tracy” though… probably because I bribe him with lots of treats and basically let him do whatever he wants to do. At 21, I figure he’s earned that! We finished up with a walk down the lane, which he really enjoyed and then some bran mash because… Aunts spoil their nephews.
All in all, a really lovely day with three wonderful rides. It’s all a girl can ask for 🙂