The cool thing about having a blog without a defined agenda is that I can write whatever suits me. One day that might be an analysis of our current political situation, the next it might be something about one of my personal interests. Guess which one you get today?
So last month our awesome new neighbor, who knew I was looking for a roomier place to board my horses, offered to let me use her acreage. She moved down here from California last year and has six fenced acres but no horses. She loves horses - loves to look at them, photograph them, pet them. But she doesn't want the hassle of owning one and thought it would be perfect if I put mine at her place.
Naturally I jumped at her offer and today agreed it's a win-win for both of us. She has three separate fenced paddocks and since the first of September we've been mowing and repairing fences as we started moving the ponies over. We put the geldings in the three acre pasture and they love it. We haven't moved the small mares over yet; there's a lot more involved in moving horses to new pasture than just throwing them on it. When the mares are finally moved, they'll be in the middle pasture, which is about an acre. The slightly larger front paddock we use for riding. It has enough room for groundwork and jumping.
All the work of moving our horses has left us little time to ride them. Most of what you've seen here have been pictures and videos of us on our instructor's lesson horses. If it seems odd that we have spent more time riding someone else's horses than our own, it's only because it is. I've felt especially bad that we haven't been exercising Oliver, Alex's pony, although the up side is that the experience she's gained at riding school has really prepared him to handle him.
I saw today how the lessons have helped. Alex is so confident now, and wasn't even flustered when Oliver got balky or decided he'd rather go to the gate than work.
Alex discovered that when sufficiently motivated, he has a wonderful canter. He'd actually rather canter than trot, and Alex and I both agreed after riding him that he's got the most comfortable canter of any horse either of us have ridden.
I was so proud of Alex's riding ability, and think that her little brother Lucas could easily ride Oliver when and if he ever develops an interest in riding. Oliver is a very laid back little horse.
After we finished exercising Oliver, I took him back to the pasture he shares with Lucas' impish Shetland pony, Rob Roy, and my new horse.
Which reminds me: It's occurred to me that I forgot to give everyone my Big News. Remember my neighbor's beautiful Haflinger pony - the one I had fallen so in love with? I bought him from her last month! He's fabulous, and is as sweet as he is beautiful. I named him "Lumos Maxiums." Lumos, for short.
It was late today when we went out to exercise Oliver, so I didn't plan on having time to ride both horses. But when I took Oliver back to the round pen to cool down, Lumos watched me take the bridle off and stood there as if to say, "Can I wear it?"
He stood perfectly when I walked over and I slipped it on. Since he was bridled I thought, "Why not?" and hopped up for a bareback ride.
Haflingers are stocky little horses, and are built kind of like sofas. I could have ridden Lumos all day, but by that time it was getting late so I hopped off.
We're going riding again tomorrow. I can't wait!!
We love our lesson horses, but have decided than now that everything is in order (almost) at the new farm where our ponies are staying that we'd rather have the instructor come out here and give us lessons on our own horses.
The "boys" are so willing that we have high hopes for all the things we have planned for them. We'd love to take one or both to the November show. It may be a bit ambitious, but you never know. Either way, I'll keep you posted.