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New fencing at Timber Run Farm

Earning His Keep

I have this little joke with Miles about how he has to “earn his keep” every month. When he’s bad, I threaten to let him live outside, but when he’s good I tell him he’s earned board for another month. On Sunday and Monday, Miles earned his May board.

Miles getting groomed

On Sunday as soon as we got home from Pittsburgh, I headed to the barn. As luck would have it, the barn manager was headed out on a trail ride and invited us along. So I tacked up Miles and only worried slightly about the fact that 1) he hadn’t been ridden in 3-4 days, all of which had been limited, indoor turnout days due to rain. But I climbed aboard and set off. Miles has gotten so confident on the trails, that he led most of the way and only hesitated at the first water crossing. We have a little routine with water: I let him stop and smell it, and splash a little if he wants, and then I tell him to go on and he does. It was such a beautiful day, it was nice to just be outside riding my horse.

New fencing at Timber Run Farm
How could you NOT love being here?! #HeavenOnEarth

Monday evening I had a make-up lesson from last week, when the weather turned gross and we all opted to go to dinner instead of ride — perks of being an adult amateur! Originally I had planned to ride Moiya, but it 78° and sunny… and we got to ride outside… so I switched and decided to ride Miles. Miles hasn’t jumped outside yet this year, and with show season coming up in 6 weeks I wanted to get him out and jumping around a bit. The lesson was all about jumping and getting in the groove again. We started off small, trotting a crossrail, but quickly moved up to stringing three jumps together, set at around 2’3″-2’6″.

Miles in March 2017

I’m a bit rusty with Miles, and that showed up a lot. I didn’t see my distances very well, and was just nervous enough to not want to ask for a bigger, gappy spot. So a few times, I got left behind. Honestly though… I’m not that disappointed. Sure, I need to ride better. But I never got ahead, I recovered quickly and the most important part was that Miles stepped up and did his job without complaint. When I didn’t pick a spot, he did and got us safely over the jump and never once thought about being sassy on the landing side. So while the lesson left a lot to be desired in terms of my riding, it was really confidence building for me. My horse was good, and reminded me that I can trust him… which is exactly what I need right now.


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

11 thoughts on “Earning His Keep

  1. What a star ! That was a turning point for me with Isabel – when suddenly she was able to fill in the gaps for me no matter what. It’s a good feeling 😉

  2. Oh man, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen an abundance of luscious green grass and trees. So beautiful! I’m glad that Miles was so good 🙂

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