My family is pretty big on setting goals, driven I am sure by my slightly OCD, type A personality, that is always planning, organizing and setting the next notch a little higher.
One of Jordyn’s goals has been to trot her pony, Snow. Last weekend she had a few good solo flights in the front yard. I decided this week it was time to take the show on the road. Roland was here all morning, needing extra time for the complicated shoeing on Bruno and Mickey. I had been up to feed the horses long before dawn. I was ready for a change when Roland finally pulled out.
I told Jo we were going on a trail ride. “Out as far as the corn fields?” Yes, that far, I answered. I didn’t give her much time to think about it. Lauren and I saddled up Snow and Mick. My only concession to this being a bit of a trial, was that we left Snow’s halter on under his bridle with a lead rope looped up to the saddle horn. If things went too badly, I would be able to drag Snow back to the farm.
From the moment we stepped onto the trails, it was magical. Jo has routinely had trouble handling Snow in the arena but both he and Mickey settled immediately into a nice pace. I had figured Snow would follow Mickey, but Snow wanted to be lead horse and Jordyn handle him easily. As we continued down the path, I started moving Mick on a little faster. I asked Jordyn if she wanted to trot. She was scared but the horses fell into a nice easy jog. We were out over an hour, we trotted a lot!
As a kid, nothing was greater for me than a trail ride. I would ride miles of trail on the weekends. Crossing railroad tracks, busy highways and deserted back roads. To me, especially at that time of my life, there was no greater freedom for me, than when I was riding my horse across country. I was glad I could share this with Jordyn.
The weather was beautiful. Kona was along for the ride as well. Jordyn got more saddle work and confidence in this hour than she has had after months of arena riding. She was like a little cowgirl, handling her pony with gentle but tough hands.
The biggest praise goes to my POA pony for his unflappable spirit. We have used this pony for so many things over the years. Lauren won miles of ribbons with him in Pony Hunter at shows. I was so grateful to have such a wonderful guy for Jordyn to ride. I believe it was his most important work ever!
In my 2014 goals, a big one for me was to finally ride Bruno. I am a competent rider, but getting old, with broken bones and bad backs harder to recover from, I dont want to take a lot of chances. The horse Lauren rode yesterday, was difficult to ride and hard to control. I may have cheated a little, because the Bruno persona in the ring today would place well in any hunter class. I rode Feather to double team the Lauren work out team. The plan was her to work Bruno while I got Feather through flat work. When Lauren deemed Bruno’s workout complete, I told her I was going to ride Bruno. He has been here 14 months and never have I wanted to ride the huge, fast thoroughbred. But you’ve got to achieve your goals and a quiet hunter Bruno was the one I wanted ride.
I had some trepidation as I viewed the world from these new heights. Bruno is the largest horse I have ever ridden. I relaxed my death grip on his mouth and he settled in quickly, listening as I worked on some turns. I prayed that as Feather cantered by, Bruno would not think it was Match Race Sunday.
I loved it, but only walked him today. I am going to breakdown my goal from just riding Bruno to walking (achieved today!) to trotting and finally cantering the big Jump Start colt.
For goals to be achieved you have to push past your own comfort level and reach a little higher. Jordyn and I both did that this weekend. Yippee for goals and success!
Thank you for being part of our journey.