Saturday, October 5, 2013

In the Company of Fine Horses

I had a delightful day with my three horses today.  You know fine dining?  Good food, good company, a wonderful experience.  Well, today I had fine riding - a wonderful experience in its own right - good horses, all.

My day started early with Dawn - I usually ride her 5 mornings a week early before anyone else gets to the barn - she objects strongly (this word doesn't do it justice) to being ridden in the arena with another horse.  She's a middle-aged lady now - she's 16 - and I honor her preferences.  Lately, every ride, she's been offering more and more softness even when I don't do anything particular to ask for it.  Her trot is amazing, soft, relaxed and swinging and we do almost-collected trot and lateral work just on a thought. What a splendid mare she is - I hope she knows it - and I immensely enjoy her nose rests while we're grooming.

Red is just more and more willing and solid.  He's now, as of yesterday, completely sound again at the trot - the swelling in his left hind is almost gone - just a small hard lump - and he no longer is asking for massages of his left hindquarters, which means he feels pretty good.  He's very alert and interested in everything, and just as willing as he can be.  Yesterday we dealt with string trimmers - the lawn service was working along the edge of the aluminum arena with a string trimmer - making a horrible noise - he was pretty alarmed by this so I got off and stood with him while they worked - eyes like saucers, but he stayed with me.  Afterwards we did 10 trot lengths of the arena - bareback - he seems to really like this - and today we did 15 lengths while it was pouring rain and very noisy in the arena - what a fine horse he is.

And Pie and I have been having wonderful rides - more geese herding Friday and then today, during the rain storm, some excellent soft trot and canter work.  His canter has come such a long way and just gets better and better - last winter he had great trouble even cantering around the corners in our small arena.  Now he just canters around and around on a loose rein, with a relaxed, even cadence - I think he actually enjoys it, although being Pie, he especially enjoys just standing still on a loose rein in the middle.

There's nothing better in this world than three fine horses!

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