The weeks are just flying by for me. I can’t believe it’s almost August, or that it’s been almost a week since my last blog post! Sorry ya’ll… not that you’ve really been missing much anyways. However, I have been fortunate enough to grab a few rides while Miles is laid up, thanks to the generosity of my fellow boarders. Recently, I’ve bummed a few rides on Coal, a black OTTB in his mid-teens.
I’ve never ridden him before, but he lives next door to Miles, so it’s not like I don’t know him. He’s super sweet and usually laid back, but he can still have his ‘moments.’ Anyways, I hopped on for the first time last Friday and WOW. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what I got. He is one of the most comfortable horses I’ve ever ridden — literally like sitting on a couch. I suck at sitting trot, and I could sit his trot all day long. He was really, really, well-behaved and very well-schooled; he just doesn’t give anything away for free. Which is good for me, since I know I got my workout in 🙂
Since I’m a nervous nelly (especially on new horses) I started off in the arena, just doing basic, walk/trot/canter and making sure I had steering and brakes. Not that he wouldn’t… Coal isn’t green by any stretch, in fact his mom does some small dressage and trail rides on him all the time, and he sometimes gets used for Trainer’s IEA team. But you know me — always nervous! Anyways, by the end of the ride I was feeling so confident with Coal — we worked on bending, flexing, going in a frame and tighter turns — that I even ventured out for a stroll around the pastures to cool out! Longtime readers will know that I’m a huge ring baby, so taking a horse I’ve never ridden before and going outside the ring is a pretty big deal. And obviously a testament to how amazing Coal is!
For our third ride we went on a real trail ride with some friends (again, thank you SO MUCH to Coal’s mom!) where he schooled the other OTTBs on how to trail. When they acted up, Coal stood like a rock. When they didn’t want to get in the water, he led the way. And yes, I did say water! Through water, over ditches and mud, Coal was absolutely foot-perfect. The first time we came to a ditch, Coal stopped and looked. I got a sinking feeling in my gut and thought ‘oh sh*t, this is going to go sideways and I’m going to fall off’. But it turns out, Coal was just taking a look to figure out where to put his feet. Once he decided, he calmly walked through, no big deal. At that moment, I fell in love <3
After that first ditch, it was smooth sailing! I had the best trail ride of my life with Coal, my black beauty. Thanks again to Coal’s mom, for sharing him with me!! I’m so lucky to have such amazing friends.