Friday, June 17, 2016
Today's Equestrian Adventure
Another ride today on the mighty mite Finnegan -- this time for a full hour! All at a walk, first in the ring, then riding out with Hilly on her new horse, Slugger. Slugger is a Standardbred, who had a brief career on the track, then became a trail horse, and when Hilly went to try him hadn't worked for two years through no fault of his own. He was, she reported, indeed a get on and ride no matter how long the layoff type of horse. She brought him to the barn on Sunday, gave him a couple of days to settle in, then started working him. He's been a star! He doesn't fret in the ring even though he'd spent his previous career on state park type trails; yesterday she tried hacking him out a short distance and he left the property without a fuss, ignored trash barrels, ignored cars, just delighted her with how sensible he was. Standardbreds generally have very good minds; he's got that in spades. Today's ride out to yellow house field was a further test -- hacking out with another horse, one he doesn't know; going through a bug-infested stretch; riding along a wide-open field; trading the lead with another horse -- oh, and passing a large isolated rock that MIGHT have horse-eating fangs. The flies annoyed him but he kept his head; the rock worried him enough for a brief halt, slow sidestep, and careful examination. Then he was fine, went on calmly, and passed it on the way back without a second look. He's not thrilled about having to halt and wait for a slower horse to catch up but he doesn't make much of a fuss about it. That is some seriously excellent behavior, especially when he's been here such a short time after such a long layoff. He's also seriously cute, a bay with a star on a shapely head and lovely conformation. Not surprisingly, given his breed and history, he needs some work on his big trot and on cantering but the foundation is there for a really fine horse. I gotta get some pictures. And here they are!