|out for a conditioning ride|
With my involvement with the racehorses, I was given the hottest and--at least it seemed at times--the least desirable mount out of the bunch. Her name was Lu, and she was a 17yo Mustang/Arabian who had been around the block in the CTR and endurance world. She had gobs of experience on trails over me, and she was not at all afraid to show it.
|lu and i on the right, a fellow carly and her paso fino mount armonico on the left|
For all of her bossy nature, complete unwillingness to listen to me anywhere besides on the trail (arena work was not on her repertoire....ever), and zero interest in having a personal connection, she gave me a ton of confidence on trails that I didn't have before. If there was a mountainside we had to slide down that I wanted no part of, she simply let me sit up there, clinging to her breastplate, and picked her way down without fuss.
|hamming it up on the train tracks. lu says, "home is this way, fool."|
(obviously there was zero danger of a train coming. should i even have to point that out?)
We ended up coming in dead last at our CTR because my ride partner had to pull her horse for a lameness at the last second, and we ended up teamed with a very green pony who we had to do a lot of waiting around for and babysitting.
|the night before our CTR. this picture pretty much sums up our entire relationship.|
However, I still had a lot of fun out there, and Lu showed me the ropes--including pretty much trotting herself out before and after the ride, and obligingly stopping to drink whenever and wherever she felt the need on trail.
|"stop taking my picture, lady. we have work to do."|
On Monday, Lu passed away from colic. I had to laugh at every "RIP Lu" post I saw from my fellow classmates on facebook. They all described how much trouble she gave them, how she lived up to all the bad reputations mares get, and how she was kind of a miserable bitch. But she clearly effected all of us one way or another, and I don't think anyone can say she didn't teach us everything she could about trail riding.
|about to head out, and she knows it.|
So rest in peace to Lu, the marest of them all. I'm sure she's up there with one of two sisters, being a complete bossy bitch and loving every second of it.