Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Storybook horse

When I was a horseless kid, I read anything with horses in it. I dreamed of having a brave steed who would carry me for miles without flagging, who would face down monsters with me, and who would bravely stick by my side.

In my late 20s I finally got a horse. Champ was a king among horses, but he wasn't a storybook horse. If you also grew up dreaming of a horse, you know what I mean when I say that the reality of horses is kind of a letdown. What do you mean, they spook and run from rabbits? And if you get off and let go of the reins, there is a decent chance your horse will give you the finger and head home without you? And horses have only three speeds - dawdling walk, Death Trot, and dead gallop from evil bunnies??

Of course, they're wonderful anyway - we all agree about that. But old dreams never die, and I'm delighted to tell y'all that I finally had a storybook ride this weekend.

I took Dixie and Cersei out on the short 5 mile loop on Saturday. Dixie was a dream to ride, even after 2 weeks of virtually no work. A little spooky, a little extra spring in her step. We meandered out and up the hill, a mile or two, then I asked her to pick up the pace and we flew for the rest of the loop.

It was effortless and perfect. I didn't have to urge her on or hold her back. All I had to do was stay balanced and steer and watch out for traffic. We followed three four wheelers and two pickups down the road out of HV, then veered off and passed within 100' of a guy warming up his dirt bike. She didn't flinch once.

She rolled through all her "gears", too, just like I've always wanted. She flowed from a trot to a rack to a canter to a pace and back. I have always thought that real strength of a gaited endurance horse is that different gaits work different muscles, so the horse can swap gaits to keep from fatiguing her muscles. That definitely seemed to happen Saturday.

Sometimes my pretty pony really is anything a girl could dream of.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. Oh Fund, what a dream it is to have these magnificent horses...they give and give..and we receive!

    HAHA...death rabbit(ducks)!The finger, when loose....
    Yea......I know, oh, I do know!

    Rellish the wondertimes...I sigh a conteneted sigh-with you...before my latest wierdness's at the barn...I took a ride on the mare..it was one of those perfectly wonderful times of sighing and smiling...
    They are there to be had, and the memory of them, keeps us going for more!

  2. i had to LOL at this one, hehee. bravery is not someting i've seen in any horse i've known. i've ended up on the ground after huge spooks so many times, and no, my horse will not stick around to see if i'm ok.

    but i've had those moments - or hours - of bliss as i watch the countryside fly by, or gently sweep by, the times when horse and rider are one and there is nothing else there but wilderness. and the horse wants to explore the next ridge as much as i do, to see what scene awaits us.

    as i bushwhacked so often back home, i would often wonder if i was the first person to ever ride there, or at least the first non-native-american. it's possible in america to set foot/hoof on new land still, and enjoy the exhileration that comes with the fact that it might be dangerous out there, but your horse will take care of you like you've taken care of him.


  3. I have the storybook horse, myself, but it took at least 10 years to get him there. He has been storybook status for the second 10 years--long enough to forget how hard the journey was.

    Now, I have another horse, and though he is doing well, he has brought me back to reality. I forgot how much work it took to get to that place of horseowner bliss.

    Fortunately, I still have my old storybook horse that I can have a lovely ride nearly every single time. I appreciate him more than ever.

  4. It's nice to read that - those moments are worth living for!

  5. You made me laugh right out loud!

    It's been a while since I've had one of those dream rides; thanks for sharing yours.

    When does Dixie move to her new palace?

  6. I am finally realizing the Fiddle IS my storybook horse. She certainly didn't start out that way. I think that working through our difficulties together made our relationship stronger.

    Well, that and the cookies.

  7. bad funder! I laughed out loud about your description of the 3 gaits and then found myself having to explain to 3 execuctives and an auditor why I was laughing during the audit......(and I sure as heck wasn't going to tell them that I was ready blogs!)

  8. Isn't is lovely on those days when all the hard work falls into place?

    Returning last weeks fist bump :)


  9. I read everything I could about horses when I was growing up and then well into adulthood. I can't even say I have a horse now, although there are 4 in our pasture because my daughter keeps using mine. LOL

    Nice post. :) Maybe someday I'll get that one too.


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