You know how sometimes you are so close to something, that it is hard to notice change? I’m sure you can guess where I am going with this.
Being a first time horse owner (as an adult ?) I am kind of obsessed with my horse. Like, really obsessed. I see him as often as possible, and talk about him more then most first time moms talk about their newborns.
Something magical happened yesterday. Something that hasn’t happened in 48 days. Yes I have been counting. But before I get to that, let me catch you up on how Rio has been doing lately.
Last Saturday we had a flat lesson. Let me preface this with a little bit about myself: I may come across as an extrovert when you meet me, in fact, I play the part pretty convincingly some days. But, I am in fact an introvert at heart. When I am sick/tired etc, I no longer have the energy level to support being an extrovert. My ability to have patience also steeply declines. Patience doesn’t exactly come easy for me, it is a learned skill, so it is one of the first things to go when I am not 100%. Knowing all this about myself, you would think I would not try to ride when I am sick, much less be around other people and take a lesson.
Ya right. #Diehard equestrian right here. I obviously rode anyway.
Long story short, I was HYPER critical of my horse and my riding, and harder then necessary on Rio when things weren’t instantly perfect. The whole “take baby steps and be happy with small amount of progress” mantra that I usually try to subscribe to went right out the window. Why was his canter not perfectly balanced with a perfectly soft mouth? Why couldn’t we canter basic canter poles perfectly every time?
Who doesn’t love an affordable, high quality leather halter? One can never have enough IMO. My leather halter count is currently at 3. I wanted to do a quick review on my newest addition, and the halter plate I got to go with it.
About a month ago I purchased a SmartPak Wellfleet fancy stitched padded halter for like nothing- it was crazy on sale for I think 50 bucks (originally $120ish). I have always heard really great things about Wellfleet leather, but this is the first thing I’ve actually gotten my hands on.
Rio has been coming back very nicely from his month off. Other then sporting a lovely #hunterchunk and being way more out of shape then he should be, he’s being a total gem. I thank my lucky stars all the time that he has such a good brain. Amazing Vet has restricted him to flat work for awhile which is forcing us to take a hard look at his flat skillz.
As most hunter/jumper riders will probably agree- I do not love the flat work. I do not “hate” dressage or anything, I just appreciate how hard it is do right, and really think jumping is way more fun. I absolutely will do it to improve my horse, but my idea of fun is not concentrating on tedious flatting.
Unfortunately, I’m being forced to do it, and not even incorperating small jumps.
There is no better feeling then having an entire day to spend at the barn, for as long as you please. Am I right, or am I right? I get to revert back to my childhood, and I never have to check the time to make sure I’m not running behind. Leisurely barn days are basically what I live for. Barn days are almost as good as horse shows, which are obviously superior because you get to submerse yourself into the vortex of “horse-show time”, which we all know is a multi-day time zone entirely to itself where you never have to think of the outside world.
I have been a “horse girl” my entire life. When I was 5 or 6 I got my first pony. Although I have only “owned” 3 different horses during my youth, I have loved many more during my life thus far. In a tribute to those amazing spirits, I plan on occasionally spotlighting the various horses of my past. Today’s subject is “Pal” short for Palomino (original, I know).
Seeing as how it is Thursday and I do not have any new pictures (it was like really cold today and I couldn’t drag my butt to the barn after a long work day) I decided to do a little #TBT and share some details and pics about the arrival of Rio in my life.
Post college Kelly (that’s me) taught beginner h/j lessons at a barn in town. I was quite lucky to not only make money while finishing school, but also get lots of free saddle time on the school horses. Although I enjoy riding all types of horses, the nagging desire to have something I could progress with was ever-present. I had an undeniable desire to develop a partnership with one horse, and continue my own riding education by taking lessons again, something I hadn’t done on a regular basis since high school.
After a month lay-up with a minor injury, (well not really minor, so much as a complication of a prior injury- maybe I’ll get into it another time), I am pleased to announce that Rio has had his riding ban lifted by Amazing Vet and has been given the go-ahead for light flat work. Considering I was expecting a minimum 2 month lay-up, those words were music to my ears.
Being the AA weeny that I occasionally am, I insisted that Trainer ride him first. Although I have begun to gain back some of the confidence of my youth in the past few months, and have realized that I can ride the occasional buck/spook without dire consequences, I still tend to hedge my bets and choose the safer alternative if it is readily available.
Luckily, I had the entire day off work, and therefore was able to spend the whole day at the barn. Trainer and I decided it would be best to turn Rio out in the arena with a few playmates to blow off some much needed steam before attempting to ride him. Due to vet restrictions, he has not been turned out in large spaces, or with other horses, for the past month. Watching him run, gallop, frolic, and play was food for my soul. He looked SO happy, and SO sound! The perfect combo.