"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Back in the land of mud and snow.

We came home from Aiken on February 21.  A lot has happened since then.  

I had not planned on traveling for work the week we returned home.  Traveling after a twelve hour drive and unpacking is challenging.  I had done it before and have learned not to.  February 28 was to be my return to Milwaukee, but that never happened.  On March 1, our project was terminated.  I still have my IBM job but will not return to Milwaukee.  Sudden changes is a normal occurrence in our business. That doesn't make it any easier.  

Nearly two years of my life was spent in Milwaukee and I did love it there.  I will miss all the friends who didn't get a proper goodbye.  

What happens next is up in the air right now. 

The good news is of course that I have had lots of time with both horses.  Fred has been put into regular work.  He is on a routine of lunging, flatting, and most recently he has done some 18" crossrails.  

Fred is a lot of horse.  However, he is sensible.  He has a lot of training and skills that I need to learn how to manage.  I'm hoping for dry weather soon so we can ride around the farm, outside of the ring.  Sarah quite likes him and dressage is really fun now.


On March 6, Melissa Hunsberger came to the farm for a clinic.  We had cross country fun in the indoor.  I loved the lesson on Tyler so much I took Fred in a lesson later.  Fred and I jumped our first cross rails together.  Boy, he is light on his feet.  He has a light mouth and I must give him a release.  Yeah... me.... release... sure.  We're figuring it out.  I giggled a lot. 

Two days ago, I fell off of Fwed.  He gave an unexpected little buck at the walk outside and I couldn't get myself back in the tack.  We learned that when you fall off of him, he runs like a race horse and you better get out of his way.  It's good to have that first out of the way.  I got back on and he jumped a few cross rails and the bubblegum jump with a rail!  As Melissa told me, he will jump whatever he is presented with.  

Ok, Fred jumped the bubble gum brush box with one rail on top.  He didn't jump this height like Tyler.  Yet.

As for the TRose, time at home as changed our plans a little.  I will not be taking him to recognized events as I had hoped.  We will probably do Novice at the Fair Hill starter trial and then Plantation.  I'd like to go to MDHT Loch Moy, too.  

The more and more I work with Tyler and Fred, I realize that Tyler will be just fine as a lesson horse.  In fact, he will be happier jumping under 2'6 and not doing the dressage work I ask.  Of course, sharing Tyler breaks my heart.  Tyler is mine and I worry if people will take care of him as well as I do.  I worry if he thinks I'm ditching him.  I worry that he will get ring sour and hate all of us. 

Then I tell myself that he should be able to make other people as happy as he has made me.  Both Vanessa and Melanie (both are 12 years old) have ridden him lately.  They are mighty little riders and he likes them.  I watch Tyler with the kids.  He adores kids.  Tyler doesn't fuss with them or test them like he does me.  Tyler is now a  trained horse that can teach others and he should do that. 

Tyler and Vanessa in a dressage lesson with Sarah.

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