Tomorrow is the day we move Jan's horses Lakota and Elvis from the show barn to Jan's. There's nothing better than having your horse at home. But I've enjoyed riding Lakota at the show barn this winter, and I want to reflect on the experience. It was wonderful having a beautiful, heated indoor arena with incredible footing virtually to myself, but there's so much more to appreciate.
the pretty drive,
the majestic ponderosa pine at the entrance,
the rows of bridles
I appreciate seeing my own legs in breeches and boots
instead of overalls and muck boots.
I appreciate riding Lakota, and the rapport we've established. I appreciate his whinny when he sees my car, and the way he comes to the gate. I appreciate all we've accomplished under saddle. He got me back in riding shape. We rode leg yields, shoulder-in, haunches-in, and started half-pass. We struggled with canter at first, and eventually figured it out. I couldn't understand how a horse that did all his trot work so well could break at the canter. I'd feel him start to lose his self-carriage, I'd give a little half-halt to gather him up, and he'd break. Arg! I beat myself up for a while, questioning my aids like all riders do. Then one fine day I realized he was messing with me! After he knew that I knew, the game was over and the canter work was fine. Even that was fun.
(note to self - please turn those toes in!)
Most of all, I appreciate Jan,
who gave me the opportunity to ride Lakota at a beautiful barn over the winter.