In Which I Ride Some Majestikal Ponies
This is Jen. Jen is one of my very favorite humans in the entire world, so much so that I made her the Maid of Honor in my wedding. I don't get to see her much since she had to up and move far away (COME BACK), but we were able to have a wonderful pony-filled girls' weekend this past week!
Jen is a trainer and barn manager, and we met in college in the Equine Studies program, so when I visit her horses obviously factor pretty majorly into our time together!
After helping feed, clean stalls, and turn out the horses, we started in on our rides for the afternoon. Which began with this adorable, hairy creature:
|Her owner is going to need to buy stock in Show Sheen and clipper blades.|
Madely is a 3 year old Gypsy Horse that Jen just started under saddle. 'Just' as in she's only had a handful of rides and is still working out walking with a human sitting on her back. Her job will eventually be to be a kid's pleasure and local show pony, but for now she's just beginning to learn the ins and outs of being a riding horse.
She's also the third Gypsy that Jen has trained, and while I was initially skeptical of just what these round, furry, spotted cobs are even good for, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed with Madely's brain and temperament. Things that you might expect to spook or startle a young horse didn't phase her, she has an extremely calm demeanor, and she seems to be taking all of the new experiences that training brings in stride.
|With Jen on board|
THEN I GOT TO RIDE HER.
|IT'S SO FLUFFY I WANNA DIE!|
While I don't think I'd ever want to own a Gypsy Horse just because of the sheer amount of hair they come with, I definitely have a newfound appreciation for the breed as a solid, sensible pleasure horse.
After Madely was done working, we switched gears entirely and I got to hop on Jen's fabulous little Arabian gelding, Picante. It was a day of riding the most majestikal breeds.
|Jen and Picante looking adorbs, as usual.|
He was everything bad you would assume of an Arabian: spooky, hot, and overly-sensitive. Asking him to do the most simple task, like walking over a ground pole, would send the horse into a total meltdown. Picante had one hell of a spook in him, could bolt with the best of them, and his narrow body and microscopic center of balance would have you eating dirt before you even knew what happened. If you so much as touched him with your leg, you'd be shooting off at warp speed in an unknown direction. To jump Picante was to risk your life.
In short, he was not a fun horse to ride.
But Jen kept trying, kept working, kept learning, Picante mellowed out and learned to accept the leg, and today he is the best beginner lesson horse you've ever seen in addition to being one heck of a little sports car of a dressage horse! Picante is now an absolute delight to ride, and Jen's turned him into my most favorite kind of ride - little, fun, and sporty!
Dressage Horse Picante is a blast to ride.
|Blurry screen shots for all!|
|This little horse is too fun!|
Despite the bitter cold, I had a fantastically fun day with my best friend. I love getting to ride horses outside of the norm of the TB's and WB's that are so prevalent in my area, and it was cool to have my negative assumptions about Gypsy Horses challenged, and see how Picante has continued to improve since I last rode him. I can't wait until my next visit with Jen!