Horsing Around

When I recently had an inane conversation with someone where every answer that I gave was somehow the same, things finally took a different turn when he asked me what I like to do for fun. This was my immediate answer!

In March of 2009, I started riding Tucker.  Tucker is a Thoroughbred, rescued racehorse.  Did you know that the breed is called Thoroughbred?  I did not.  I thought it meant they are thoroughbred somethings.  But this is the breed.  He and his two step brothers, Quinn and Jackson, are all rescued race horses.  He is the youngest, only 5, and very docile.  Not nutty like a racehorse can be.  Or mean.  Much more like a lapdog than anything.

Here's Jackson in his winter finery. I love the pink blanket.  Quinn's in the background in his pajamas.  Jackson and Tucker have similar coloring and for a long time, I had to look at the star on Tucker's head because I wasn't sure who was who.  Their personalities are nothing alike, so that should have told me, but from a distance, I used to get confused.

Here's another picture of Quinn as he was charging at me to see what I was doing. I love Quinn's coloring.  He's very reddish.  There's a word for that.  Bay, maybe?  It's not a word that makes me think of his color.  Sometimes in the sun, he's copper colored.  He makes me laugh because his expression is always like he's ready for the next thing, and what did I bring him.  He thinks everyone arrives at the barn to see him.

A lot of what riding entails has come easy to me.  A lot has not.  I have good balance, but still managed to fall a couple of times.  In November of 2009, just before the video at the very bottom was taken, I fell so hard I was sure I had broken my tailbone.  But I did not, and I survived.  I ride English with him, with my instructor teaching dressage technique.   I don't plan to compete, so this seems a little lost on me sometimes, but it teaches me control and that's what I want.  Except that damned leg yield.  The bane of my existence.

I have been to 5 barns with this horse.  Barn #1 was the worst, in my opinion, but it had a bathroom with hot water which I really miss.  The stalls were old, the barn was dark and the ring did not drain well at all.  When it was really wet out, we took our lives in our hands going out to get the horses because their paddocks were so slippery and swampy.  Barn #2 had a good set up, I thought so, anyway, but no bathroom.  I liked the ring there.  THere was a rock wall that really scared me though and I often had visions of being thrown right into the rocks.  There were a lot of other horses there and things just didn't work out.  It was also the furthest from my house.  Barn #3 was well made, though bizarre, and the ring is amazing.  The owner claims it's an Amish style and will keep everyone warm all winter.  Everyone had their own paddock and they could go in and out at their will.  That was fantastic because they had some independence and I really think it made them a lot happier.  The riding ring was the size of 2 rings and drained like my sink.  Even in a lot of rain.  No bathroom though.  Sigh.  I like to pee before I ride. Thankfully, barn #4 had a bathroom, and indoor ring and lots of horses. I liked this one the best.

My favorite part of barn #3 was riding outside of the corral, in the woods.  It's in the middle of many acres of conservation land, and there are trails galore.  After almost every lesson, I rode into the woods and loved it.  To me, that's what riding is.  That's why I'm learning.  We had some awesome times out on the trails.

In May of 2012, at barn #4 I started riding Jake, a quarterhorse who's old and wise.  I learned a lot from him but alas, we moved on.

And in Ocotber of 2012, we moved AGAIN.  5 barns in 4 years!  I really missed the indoor ring and once we changed the clocks,  my afternoon riding took a nosedive.  I don't know how I did it before we moved to the indoor ring.

And in April of 2013, we moved AGAIN!  6 barns in almost 5 years.  No indoor ring here either but I have never seen the horses this happy.  Except for some outrageously hot days, most days are fantastic for riding and there is usually a breeze where there isn't a breeze anywhere else.  I mostly ride Jackson at this barn, something I never thought I'd do because he used to scare me back when I took the picture at the top! 

Here are some video clips of me riding.  I have clearly improved since 2011, but why I don't have any clips of that is a mystery.....

Barn #4 Jumping with Tucker in November 2011.

Barn #3 Riding Tucker in October 2010.

Barn #3:  Riding Tucker August 2010

Barn #1: Riding Tucker November 2009

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