Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fox Finds My Faith

I hadn't really planned to ride anywhere off the property this weekend but Superhubs begged me(okay he didn't have to beg that hard) to go over to the local park that has among other things horse trails, and some cross country-ish jumps, plus some natural ditches.  So we loaded up and off we went, the High Queen screaming her betrayal of having been deprived of her two minions.

It was a nearly perfect day. The weather was just warm enough for t-shirts, the park wasn't crowded with other riders, and Fox was a near total star.  It came to my attention early on that Fox is definitely ditchy.  This will be what we need to work on the most, although he hasn't seen a water jump yet so that too might get added to the list, but we'll hopefully cross that particular xc jump when we get to it.

Today the first two times we came to a small ditch, Cowboy leading the way, Fox happily followed after, even cantering a little(which until today I had thought he didn't know how to do because other than the day I tried him we had never cantered together despite my asking him many times.) but the third time he was a little farther away from Cowboy and had less momentum. So he quite clearly said UH UHH not gonna do it.  Wrong answer Sir.  So Superhubs brought Cowboy back and we got a better start at it, over the ditch we go.

This was followed by a bit of a trail ride, some wooden bridges, which I hoped Fox remembered were okay to cross.  He did, but on the second bridge Cowboy did a sliding hoof scramble and we decided to get off an walk our horses back across rather than ride. The rain the day before had made everything just slick enough to be unsafe. Then we meandered back across the field, and over another ditch, and Fox cantered, I mean really cantered and it was coooomfortable.  As much as I love the High Queen she wasn't always the most comfortable ride, she's rather short strided for as tall as she is.  Fox though he's shorter has a very lovely, long, free shouldered kind of stride, he doesn't have Cowboy's flair, but he's definitely got dressage potential.

After the ditch we hopped over several log jumps, at a TROT!, and cantering away!  I am so in love with this horse.  Yes he's a rather odd chestnut color, with even stranger black spots (Superhubs keeps claiming that Fox is an Appaloosa even though I've told him, repeatedly, that I have seen Fox's papers, there ain't no spotted beasties in his pedigree)  he's short(still have to put a stick on him), he's a he, and I'd never had a gelding of my own before, and he was an OTTB which I swore I wasn't going to have again.

Fox is all the those things. But he is also sweet, reliably unspooky, semi reliable at loading(I forgot to practice this week and he was a little crappy about getting back in at the park), he doesn't mind being fussed with, stands like a plow horse to have his mane pulled, or just to stand at the trailer, and aside from his ditchy-ness he seems like he'll make a decent low level eventer.  One I can trust to get me to the fence and get me over it, then actually get back in the trailer at the end of the day.

Today Fox gave me back my faith in riding, my trust in my horse, and my love for a good ride.  Thank you my lovely red head.  Keep it between the flags everyone!

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