Sunday, April 15, 2012

Commander is a Star

The mighty Morgan got to play kid’s pony last Saturday, and he rocked. The ring at the barn is unfenced and has lots of yummy tempting grass growing up through the crushed clamshell surface, so we did the ride in the fenced and grassless paddock behind the run-in. Given Faith's small stature and limited riding experience, it seemed safer to start with Commander being led by Faith’s mother, Roxanne.


That went just fine, so we moved to the longe line with me. Commander obviously knows all about longe lines and did his part like the good doobie he is.


So far so good; and finally Faith soloed. Commander was on his best behavior throughout, and carried his tiny burden with polite pride.


We did try a short trot on the lead line but it was quickly clear that Faith couldn’t handle Commander’s trot (quite a step up from a schoolie pony trot, I’d imagine), so after that we stuck to the walk.

Both Ben and Commander got groomed before the ride, and both boys inhaled the attention.


Even with a mounting block Faith could barely reach Ben's topline.


Commander was much easier for her; it's amazing, the difference a mere hand of height makes.


A good horse is a treasure; a good kid's horse is a pearl beyond price.



And so, today, Faith was back for more -- this time, not only with her mother in tow but with her older sister as well. Patrina is about two years older and maybe four, five inches taller, still a slender thing, like her little sister still more child than teenager. Patrina’s never ridden before except on pony-ride type little things, never been much interested in horses, but after the two girls had fun grooming Ben and Commander we saddled up the mighty Morgan and put Patrina up, with Faith leading them (and me walking with them till it was clear Commander would listen to Faith).

All three of them had a blast. The mighty Morgan led with unfailing politeness, Faith even got Commander to do some trotting, Patrina loved loved LOVED it all, and Commander was very proud of himself. By the time the older sister got off she was talking about starting riding lessons and definitely wants to come back to groom and ride again. Ha HA!! I do believe we’ve hooked another horse addict.

Then Faith mounted the long-suffering Morgan (Commander: “What? I thought we were done! Where’s my cookies? Oh, well, if you insist....”) and ambled about the paddock. She ventured a trot, I corrected her position and suggested she let the reins slip rather than using them to balance with, and by golly! She did a clearly better job of riding his trot today. And he clearly was more comfortable with her revised ride of his little jog (I know he can trot bigger than that, but it was just right for packing a kid in a small paddock). After some more walking and little jog-trots, it was time for them to go – but not until Commander (and Ben) got thank-you cookies plus hugs and kisses.

No, no photos; I didn’t have my camera along. Roxanne, the girls’ mother, took some of Patrina aboard with her phone but she’s not quite sure how to download them to her computer so I have no idea when I’ll ever get them. I’ll definitely bring the camera along next time, since there definitely will be another time -- likely a lot of other times.

Commander finished the visit visibly pleased with himself, and rightfully so. Both boys are really enjoying all this attention. It’s amusing, watching two small girls maneuvering the large Morgan and giant Thoroughbred around and the large/giant horses placidly complying. What a pearl beyond price a good horse is, huh? Can't say it enough -- Commander is a STAR.

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