Over the winter (and into early spring), Moiya is my main ride — she we hack 3-4 days per week and take one jumping lesson. Our rides are never long, usually 20-30 minutes tops because Moiya pretty much is what she is. She comes out with different personalities sometimes, but there’s not a whole lot to be done to change it that day. If she’s hot and spicy, you won’t work it out of her that’s for sure, so you just roll with it. Honestly though, our rides are usually super short because she’s just so damn good. And ever since we’ve been able to consistently ride outside, Moiya has not only been good, she’s been just plain happy.
Sure, she’s been a little over-enthusiastic about lead changes and jumping, but it’s because she feels good. And that makes me incredibly happy. At 18, every day, every jump on this horse is a gift — so if she’s feeling good it means I’m doing my job right. We had a lesson over the same jump course Miles did last week, and Moiya was foot perfect. The lesson was at warp speed because a storm was rolling in, so we ended up doing two hunter courses back to back and Moiya was FABULOUS. I saw my distances, she whoa’ed in the lines to do the add-stride and never once thought about doing her signature drive-by refusal.
Moiya and I jump small jumps, mostly because she doesn’t need to jump big and also because I don’t think I could ride her if she really cracked her back and opened up over a bigger jump, haha. So while the fences were set at 2′-2’3″, she jumps those just as hard as Miles jumps 2’9″. And for us, it’s less about the height and more about everything else. During our second round, Trainer was resetting fences for the other riders and she said:
“I wasn’t even watching your round, because I knew Moiya would tell you if you made a mistake. Instead, I was listening to the rhythm. It was so even, that I knew the trip went well.”
I just had a big smile plastered on my face. Moiya was having fun and so was I. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.