by Laura Crum
I post a lot about other things here on this blog, but I AM still riding. I don’t post about my riding very much, because it’s just not that exciting. Short trail rides and just exercising the horses here at home is all I am mostly doing. Some days my son and I get Henry and Sunny out and ride them at the walk and trot in the riding ring for twenty minutes or so—until they are warmed up—and then let them gallop up the hill from the front gate to the house a few times (less than a quarter of a mile). And that’s it.
Not very interesting blogging material. We are just trying to keep our older horses from getting stiff—and also keep them a bit legged up. The goal being that when we do want to do a more ambitious trail ride (which for us is a two-three hour trail ride) the horses will be comfortable doing it.
There isn’t much to say about it. Our horses are well behaved and my son and I enjoy cruising around in the spring sunshine. It’s very relaxing. The horses enjoy it, too, as far as I can tell. They certainly meet us at the gate to be caught. We turn them loose to graze afterward…and I KNOW they really enjoy that part. We all seem to get a kick out of the short gallops up the hill. It’s a pleasant part of the day for all of us.
But I am not teaching these wise old horses any new tricks, or preparing for any exciting event. I am not improving as a rider…rather the reverse. I cannot now do many things on a horse that I could easily do in my younger days. I don’t mind. I enjoy my horse time now as much as I ever did.
It’s a lot about sharing time with my son. It’s a lot about wanting my horse time to be relaxing and stress free. It’s a lot about not wanting to work hard at the horses (just call me lazy). I want the horses to enjoy our riding time, too. They’re older horses who have given us a lot and they’ve earned an easy life. And I just don’t have goals any more with my horses—other than to share a pleasant life together with them.
There’s nothing wrong with any of this. It doesn’t make for an interesting blog post, though. Or for a very exciting horse life.
On the other hand, if you are a horseperson who is longing for a pleasant, relaxing, drama-free life with horses, I am here to tell you that this is entirely possible. Choose a reliable, older horse, do things that are well within his/her capabilities, avoid events that are about sorting out who is “better” than who and/or who can complete the goal and who can’t. You must also have a bit of luck. But within these parameters it is entirely possible to have an enjoyable, stress-free life full of horseback riding fun. We can serve as an example.
Henry and Sunny sharing a bit of camaraderie on a sunny spring day, while my son and I chat.
Riding down the hill for a gallop back up.
Galloping up the hill…I usually wear a helmet for this, but took it off at my husband’s request for a photo with my hair blowing in the wind. (This photo was taken last summer—see shiny horse—but the activity looks about the same right now, only on a fuzzy horse.)
Good little fuzzy horse ready to go riding.
My son and Henry riding our local trails to the Lookout, about a mile or two from our front gate.
We do the occasional beach ride.
And we go riding in the woods.
Henry’s favorite part of the whole deal.
Sunny likes this part, too.
It has rained for a week straight now, so I’m glad we kept up with the riding while we could. Today everything is sodden and muddy, and I am definitely a fair weather rider. But at least we are not whining about drought any more (at the moment, anyway). I hope the rest of you are having some early spring riding fun, as well.