I am just not in a blogging kind of mood this week. I don't know what it is. It started on Monday. I got to work (my usual place of blogging - I'm not going to lie), and started in on my duties. My job duties on Monday take about 5-20 minutes before they are complete, and I'm left to my own devises. I logged on to blogger, and read all of the blogs that I'd missed over the weekend. That's usually when I'll be inspired to write, but the inspiration never came. I clicked off the Internet and stared, fiddled around with some filing, finished that, then came back to stare at my outlook inbox; sighing deeply, forlornly wishing for e-mails. Nothing. I guess I am just getting antsy to begin my new job (mid-august). My current place of employment is great, don't get me wrong, but it's gotten so slow. Many people are taking paid time off, and there's frankly not much to do..I'm getting despondent here, and that's no good.
Anyway, enough about that. On the horse end of things, last weekend I actually rode THREE different horses! I know :). Gypsy, Contro and my Sunday lesson, at long last!
On Saturday, my little cousin G was in town from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She's 14 years old and has her own horse at home, though she doesn't show and has minimal experience. She had never been on a Morgan, so I was more than excited to give her the Morgan experience. I called J, who said that I could bring G over to ride, but she (J) wouldn't be there. This was bitter sweet for me, I knew that J would be a great ambassador for her Morgans, but she would surely put G on the 30 year old Morgans and not the fun, Morgany Morgans. With J gone, I had my pick of the horses, Contro!
We ended up riding Gypsy first, then as G was finishing up with Gypsy, I pulled Contro out to take him for a quick spin. After watching G with Gypsy, I wasn't certain she'd be able to ride Contro. Even though Contro is 17 years old this year, he is a quick little bugger. He has a naturally very high stepping trot, and he gets sort of Saddle Seaty if you do anything hastily. G doesn't know enough about riding this type of horse, in fact she'd never ridden in an English saddle (hunt seat or other wise) so I just thought I'd at least let her see him; he's gorgeous to watch under saddle. As I was riding around, she told my mom that he looked too fast for her taste, but she sat on Gypsy watching Contro with her mouth open, I had an idea.
G riding Gypsy
After a bit, I brought Contro into the center of the ring and clipped a lunge line to his bridle. I told G to hop up on him and that I'd take her for a "pony ride" so that she could at least say she sat in an English saddle. She hopped up and after I gave her a few pointers to calm her down, we set about at a slow walk down the rail. It took her a few awkward minutes to really get a feel for the slick saddle beneath her, but once she settled in, I could tell that she was excited.
"do you want to trot?" I asked her.
"Well, okay. Don't let go of the lead, though." she answered nervously.
I began to jog slowly beside Contro, and being the good boy he is, he followed along at a slow, smooth jog beside me. G got a startled look on her face, she had never posted before, so I told her up, down, 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2 and sooner than you'd think, she grasped the concept. Posting, unlike sitting the canter, came easy for me when I was learning, it's a natural rise, but I've also seen plenty of people really struggle with it too. G has a very natural, soft post and with practice, she'll do just fine. Anyway, after jogging half the arena, I thought I was going to die, so I walked Contro and G into the center. I sent Contro out just a bit on the lunge line and explained to G why I was doing that.
"it's too hot, I'm too out of shape, and I might die if I have to keep jogging with you," I explained between gasps.
Before she got onto Contro, I overheard G telling my mom that she had only cantered on her horse twice. I mean what a travesty! When I was her age, that's about all I did with my horse - canter, canter, canter! Anyway, seeing this as my opportunity, I quickly told G to prepare for a canter. She looked nervous, but was willing. She trusted me. I gave her the instructions to sit deep in the saddle and to keep her heels down. She also seems to keep her spine and upper body too stiff, so after telling her to relax and have fun, I signaled Contro to canter.
Normally, Contro picks up his canter with perfection, especially on the lunge line, but he must have sensed that this girl needed a good saddle seat Morgan trot before her cantering debut. Contro picked up a beautiful above level trot, his head up and his tail flagging. G sat atop, looking confused.
"Canter!!!" I firmly told Contro.
Up his knees flew, higher than I'd ever seen them go. I thought to myself that maybe he might make a nice English Pleasure horse, even in his old age. Finally, he swooped into a beautiful, slow rocking horse canter for G. Around he went, once, twice before I sensed that G had had enough. Like the sweet boy he is, Contro gracefully slowed to a nice flat walk. G looked bewildered for a moment, then a huge smiled exploded onto her face.
"That was fun!" she gushed, as I patted Contro on the shoulder and signaled G to dismount.
I know that putting G on such a horse was on the risky side, it's always best to play it safe. When I was 14, though, I know that an experience like that would have stuck with me for life. I hope it does for G, too.
After our HOT day at the barn, we hit the pool. According to G's mom, she hasn't stopped talking about her day with the Morgans yet!