I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in PA with my barn fam, hanging out, eating so much junk food, riding ponies, and watching a few of the barn girls ride in the annual fun show at the rodeo.
|trail selfies are mandatory, even if your horse is about to walk off a cliff|
First order of business was, of course, to browse the random selection of horse stuff at the horse.com/State Line Tack outlet store. I really need a new pair of show gloves and schooling tall boots, so obviously I came away with neither of those things. Instead I grabbed a pair of really nice side reins for $15 (because they seemed like something I should have, even if I never use them) and a pair of fly boots for $10 for the barn friend that's been letting me use her saddle as a little thank you.
After a pit stop for a burger and milkshake, Riding Bestie Sarah and I pulled into the barn and I was instantly offered a ride on Rio who was being a tool for his mom. I grabbed my helmet and jumped on, w/t/c with no issues besides a lack of forward.
It's moments like that where I can tell how much my time with BM pays off. She makes me step up and be a better rider on my own horse, but she also expects me to get on any horse she hands me and ride it just as well as she would. There's never any expectation that the horse is going to be naughty or not do what you want--just add lots of leg or use lots of seat if you need to and don't touch the mouth.
|my favorite dutch hippo!|
After I handed him back over, I went up to the barn to get on PA BM's horse Chance. She just got him back after he'd been sitting in a field babysitting another horse for five years. He's a Quarter Horse in his upper teens with an ass the size of a dump truck and a back so wide that even at only 15hh he took up my super long legs like a way bigger horse. As could only be expected of PA BM's horse, he has perfect manners and was a complete gentleman under saddle.
We played around at w/t/c for a bit, but it was so hot and buggy that we eventually just parked it in the ring until Sarah was done schooling Memphis. We cooled out on trail, and I fell totally in love with Chance. Not only is he as sweet as can be, but he's like an ATV. Just point him where you want to go, and he'll go at whatever speed you want with no questions asked.
|"play in this water? okay!"|
I tucked him back in his stall after cookies, and Sarah and I parted ways for a couple hours before the rodeo started. I went and took a shower and a nap while Sarah did some bat shit crazy workout because there's something wrong with her. Chick needs exercise intervention or something.
|most flattering photo while mocking the dutch hippo|
The rodeo took forever this year to get through, and I'm so glad I wasn't riding in it. I left after our juniors--the first in the line-up--did their barrel runs and it was already past 10pm. No fucking thank you!
We went back out on the trails for our morning ride, going all the way down to the creek which involved much bush whacking and doubling back as we tried to find our way to the road. Our old path from years ago was so overgrown there was no way to get through it so instead we had to weave through the woods. Eventually we made it though and Chance strolled right into the creek with a little nudge. After some coaxing even the Hippo was brave enough to join us.
|"oh noes, it is touching my feeties!"|
|"can i sit in your lap to stay safe?!"|
Memphis was hilarious, dipping his nose in the water and then spooking at the water dripping off of him as it hit down and sent out ripples. Maybe not the smartest of horses, but for sure the cutest! Chance was content to wander where I asked, unconcerned with Memphis's snorting and splashing.
|silliest riding fly mask ever|
I headed home not long after we were done riding, and when I got back I sat down and got to work. PA BM needed to rehome Chance because she's paying for her son's college and can't afford to keep him now that he's not living for free as a babysitter. This dude is the best and if I had enough money to keep two I would have taken him for myself in a heart beat. Instead I did the next best thing--convinced BM to take him!
I'd texted her the night before and gave her the basics, and she wanted to know if he'd be capable of doing cross rail courses with the lesson kids. He'd never jumped before so PA BM and I set up a little vertical in the indoor, stuck him on the longe, and sent him over.
|yep, he'll jump.|
He was completely willing to canter over it a few times, so I tacked him up english for a a quick video to send to BM. A little w/t/c without issues, and then we trotted over two Xs a few times. He never hesitated and just trotted right on over them like they weren't even there. We put them up to little verticals to see if we could actually get a jumping effort out of him.
Not so much, but again--he never even thought about stopping or running out. He was just, "Okay! I've never done this before, but you're asking me to do it so I will! No problem!" Dudes, I got on a horse who's had five years off, a handful of rides since then, never seen a jump before in his life, and took him right over a 2'3" without a second thought. That's how perfect he is. Hubby suggested giving Bobby to BM and taking Chance instead when he heard that, but sadly I don't think old Chancey Poo is going to be rocking Third level or Training eventing....ever.
I do, however, think he is going to make the absolute perfect beginner lesson horse and BM agreed! So this weekend Hubby and I are driving back down to PA to pick him up and bring him up to NY. I told BM I called dibs on being able to trail ride him whenever I wanted because he's such a fun dude.
And that is the story of my impromptu trip south and how I came back with a horse!