Sometimes I wish I had a horse that was already well trained and behaving. How many of you have wished for the same thing? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind training my horses; in fact I really enjoy it. When they succeed at a training task I’m happy and proud for them. It’s just that at times I wish I had a horse that had been there, done that and knew it all.
In the past few years it seems with my horse-training schedule it’s one step ahead and two steps back. I don’t have the time to work with my horses every day, so it comes down to two or three times a week if I’m lucky. This time frame makes it seem like we get nowhere in a hurry and makes me long for the good old days. Seems like back then I got in a lot more riding and lessons. The horses I rode then had a better work ethic and knew their job.
Erik and I rode almost every day and, even though he wasn’t an easy ride by any stretch of the imagination, he was willing to do what was asked of him. He knew the routine and didn’t have a problem with working. He could always make me laugh with his big sighs and antics. Except for his spookiness, he was basically a safe horse to ride.
The same work ethic applied to Lifeguard who I also rode a few times a week. No matter what you asked of him he did it without complaint. He was very well trained by my daughter and knew his job. Don’t get me wrong, he was a freethinker and in no way a push-button horse. If the request sounded plausible to him he was game for anything. It seemed if you thought it he would do it—he was that attuned to your every thought and slightest move. Of course, the same was true if you made a mistake….
Lifeguard was the only horse I ever rode that never dumped me. I actually think he and I did more jumping and shows than Erik and I did. So having not ever fallen off demonstrates what a sensible talented horse he was; even when he spooked he somehow held you in place. Don’t ask me how, that’s just the way it was.
With Spring just around the corner and hopefully more riding time in my future I was wishing/whining that if only I had a horse like Erik or Lifeguard there would be so many more activities my horses and I could be doing. Not actually showing, but perhaps cantering around the fields and doing a little jumping here and there would be so enjoyable for a change of pace.
Maybe this season Dusty will miraculously decide to behave herself and become my dream horse. She’s certainly one of the safer horses I’ve ridden over the years. Blue knows more than Dusty but in the field he’ll occasionally decide he’s having too much fun galloping around and not stop when asked. He does the same thing when jumping; he just seems to zone out and forgets there is a rider on his back while he’s doing his own thing. Blue has a tendency to forget to balance himself and has been known to fall down simply because he’s not paying attention to where his feet are going. There’s work to be done with him too.
If it seems like I’m complaining about my current horses, I’m really not. I do love them all and enjoy interacting with and training them to be the best they can be. Working with them gives us all a sense of accomplishment and confidence in each other. I suppose I was taking a wishful path down Nostalgia Lane remembering Lifeguard and Erik, or perhaps my younger high-spirited days.
Until next time
Quote for Today
No hour of life was lost spent in the saddle.