Riding Dewey: Now You're Speaking My Language
|Good at mirror selfies!|
Have I mentioned that my friends are the best friends a friend could ever have? BECAUSE THEY ARE. I have catch rides and surrogate horses to fuss over absolutely coming out my ears, and it is so, so good to feel like I'm back to my normal routine of riding and horse care. I'm still going out to groom and hang out with Dino in his field almost daily, but he needs a lot less of my time at this point now that he's just resting until he's healed enough to start toodling around with a rider again. Being able to groom and ride and clean tack and wear breeches and just do all the normal things I usually do has been really helpful in adjusting to not having a show horse anymore.
Over the past week I've been so fortunate to have a few rides on my ride-or-die show buddy Chris's fabulous horse Dewey, and I have had SO. MUCH. FUN! Aside from being an OTTB, he's just my type: small (15.1 on his tippy toes), chestnut, sassy, and has all the fun dressage buttons installed. Chris is a great rider and has done just a phenomenal job bringing Dewey along from flabby, anxious pleasure horse to total beefcake dressage star, and I was so excited to get to test drive her little red sports car horse! Her relationship with him is really wonderful, and it's been so inspiring to watch them grow together over the last few years.
|A horse that I understand how to ride! What a cool dude.|
After dealing with some major language barriers and mild discomfort with their large size riding Basil and Jelly, hopping on Dewey felt like we were singing the same tune. When I asked correctly, Dewey delivered, and while he certainly isn't an easy ride by any means, we clicked into gear together and I was able to ask for some fun Second Level stuff like medium trot and shoulder-in, and he let me really manipulate his alignment in the canter until it was just lovely. I was comfortable on him from the instant my butt hit the saddle, which is saying something for this anxious one-horse amateur!
This little horse is just COOL - Chris said her trainer once called him the most by-the-book horse she's ever seen, and I have to agree. Dewey is a tattle-tale in the best way, and will get tense and crooked if your aids and seat aren't absolutely correct. Want more forward but your seat isn't engaged properly? That's a no. Ask for a shoulder-in with too much tension in your arms? Not gonna happen. He's not giving anything away for free, and I love that about him! He's also got SO much power and fanciness under the hood - it's easy to feel all the untapped potential in this little horse just waiting to be brought out. He's already proven himself to be such an amazing show horse for Chris, and they are bound to do so many more exciting things together! I feel really honored that she trusted me enough to pilot her special, sensitive guy. Like most Thoroughbreds, Dewey is more emotionally sensitive than what I'm used to, and I've been really trying my hardest to be sensitive to him and make him feel confident with me as a new rider with a different style than his trusted person. I want to do my best to honor my friend and her partner!
|Right lead canter was so tricky to get correct! Dewey demands perfection.|
Dewey has also showed me that I'm not a one-hit wonder - it helped my confidence so much to get on a horse for the first time and, for the most part, know exactly how to ride him to help him be his best. While we had a little miscommunication about the canter departs at first, Dewey and I figured each other out pretty quickly and I spent the the first ride just cruising around having fun, enjoying feeling competent and confident! Subsequent rides focused on making sure my aids and position were up to Dewey's very exacting standards. He's a really neat horse, and I can say he's earned the place of my second-favorite chestnut dressage horse. (You know who #1 is!) I'm so, so grateful to Chris for sharing him with me! It's such a blessing and a pleasure to get to ride so many lovely horses, and I'm trying not to take one moment of it for granted.