I’ve been riding Moiya since late Summer 2015, and officially began my half-lease in January. I first fell in love with Moiya when I rode her during the summer last year. Miles was lame and resting, and she saved me from sitting on my ass while all my friends took lessons and went to horse shows. She was a gem from the get-go, and we just clicked (albeit inexplicably, because no one was more surprised than me). Over the winter, she was a bit difficult, especially over fences. But during my lesson last Monday, I got a glimpse of the mare I originally fell in love with.
To truly understand my feelings on Monday, you have to know a bit of my background and a bit about Moiya. Moiya is… all of the things I never thought I’d be able to ride well. She’s a hot, sensitive OTTB mare who is definitely a jumper. Definitely. When she’s ridden consistently, and on night turnout, and it’s hot out, she mellows. She’s easier to ride, less opinionated and is happy to lope around small jumps. Over the winter though, she’s a powder keg. Sometimes she’ll flat very calmly, although you always have to be ready for her patented “spook and bolt” maneuver, and her brakes are less… workable.
But I rode through it. All winter. Sometimes we didn’t jump much, sometimes we worked on all the little things… like not running away from the jump and bending around the corners. Sometimes we even worked on actually going OVER the jump, instead of doing drive-by’s (another move we simply call a “Moiya”). But the point is, we successfully worked through it, with our partnership still intact. We had a yahoo lesson on Thursday, which was the first time Moiya got to jump outside. She thought she was in the jump-off of the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix… over crossrails. Whatever — we worked through it and it was fine.
But on Monday… it was a complete 180* turn. Moiya came out quiet as a mouse, and was just awesome. We skipped the gymnastic, because she’s so small you’ve really got to GALLOP to get the strides, and that just wasn’t something we felt like doing that day. And honestly, Moiya doesn’t need gymnastics — she has great technique and knows how to do her job very well. So we supervised all the baby horses going through the gymnastic and just did some courses afterwards. It was totally worth the wait.
We did a few courses, and she didn’t even peek at the hogsback like I thought she would. Our final course was my favorite:
It started left lead over the “McDonalds”, tight rollback to the blue and purple gate (which I didn’t sit up and turn quite fast enough, and Moiya missed her lead change by a few strides, but I just stretched up and kept my eye up and she fixed it). Then we did another short turn to the brick, followed by another tight rollback to the blue and purple gate (which was MUCH better this time), and then the bending line to the hogsback. Moiya was SUPER — we did all of the turns pretty easily, and she did everything I asked happily. We finished with that, because there was nothing more I could ask of her, or myself. God, I love this mare.