Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reason # 385 why I love my mare....

My roommate from college recently came back East from Minnesota, and she brought her 2 kids and niece to come visit me and see my horse.  They helped me groom her and then watched me take an hour long lesson. Well, they watched some of the lesson, mostly they were being entertained by my daughter and the barn's mini donkey.  Who can blame them?  Fun donkey trumps trot gymnastics lesson any day.

Anyway, after the lesson, the kids were hoping to have a little ride on Sugar. It was hot, the horse was sweaty and tired, but Lord love her, the big gal accommodated as sweetly as can be.  She did try to roll in the new arena sand before the kids got over to her (thankfully they were in transit and missed this!) but stood sweetly and quietly while one by one they swung their legs over her back and plopped into the saddle.

With each prospective jockey I held the reins until I'd fully explained the rudimentary steering, acceleration, and braking techniques.  Then, when each child was comfortable, I let go and let them test drive the mare.  Sug plodded placidly around, rolling her eyes at me if a kick or tug was more emphatic than necessary, but that is all the reaction she gave, aside from turning, walking on, and halting when cued.  That's what I love about her, that she can be trusted so far as to have any child on her back.  When they bobble, she shifts underneath them so they stay on top of her, rather than underneath.  Lord knows she's done that for me on several occasions when she's been sure I was planning an unscheduled dismount.

It's not like she's without opinions of her own. She is opinionated, and shares them accordingly when she feels strongly about something, but again, she's never malicious. She's tested me, but has been careful never to test me beyond my limits.  Which is reason #385 why I love her.  She leaves me with the same kind of smile on my face that Colin has on his, the kind of smile that means you feel like you've just conquered a new world.

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