I’ve been flying under the radar because work has been kind of crazy and pony time has been limited and I’ve been a big old wimp about riding again since the fall a few weeks ago.
However, this weekend turned into a pony-fest of the highest order and I couldn’t have been happier! What better way to celebrate your birthday than by being at the barn all weekend?
The barn Halloween party kicked off the weekend. I was a little (a LOT) worried that I wasn’t even going to get Smokey into his costume when I brought him up from the pasture and he was just a hot mess while I longed him and even when I turned him back out. Thankfully, after I helped a few others get their costumes situated, I was able to retrieve Smokey again and had much better success with his attitude and willingness.
He watched the other horses in their costumes head down to the big arena from the safety of the small arena where I was putting on his polos and other costume items. He was particularly interested in the bay horse who was effectively turned white by several sheets wrapped around her and flowing significantly. Aside from a few heavy breaths, Smokey was a perfect gentleman while I got him ready. He even tolerated the cape he needed to wear!
We walked out to the big ring with everyone else (fashionably late, of course) and he stood like a pro in his full getup while we were judged. The constant intake of carrots probably didn’t hurt for this, either. All in all, I was super proud of my boy! Less than 6 months ago, he was a “wild” horse living in a BLM facility and hadn’t even been touched by humans, much less dressed up for Halloween! It’s hard to really even fathom how far he’s come, and I barely even ride him still. I guess that’s mostly on me, huh? Anyway, prepare for adorable Halloween horses in the slideshow below!
After the parade of ponies, everyone got turned back out and most of them with blankets on. I guess I hadn’t ever really thought about if Smokes had seen another horse in a blanket, but according to his reaction, that was a new one for him. While I was waiting on my brother to come take some pictures, we were hanging out in the arena and Blue came waltzing down in his blanket and Smokey just couldn’t quite understand what was going on with him. He snorted and kept a close eye on him the whole time. It made for some nice pictures, but I could tell he was pretty concerned.
I undressed him and took him back up to the barn where he got loads more carrots and then got turned out. He skittered through the gate to the pasture when he saw Colors in his blanket, but walked down to his field like a pro after he recovered from the initial shock. He only looked back at Colors once.
The rest of the weekend, Smokey got a lesson in small children at a pony party. A few even pet him while being held by their parents. I got to ride him a bit in the big arena since Misty and Colors were only ponying at a walk. I figured that was the best time to get on him while things were calm. He did really well and is reacting less and less to his face being pulled around by the halter. His movement off my legs is impeccable for a horse who has barely any saddle time. I’m looking forward to talking to a former Extreme Mustang Makeover winner and Mustang Million competitor about coming to give me some lessons. I mostly am the one who needs work! Smokey just needs my confidence and time on his back and we’ll be well underway. Next up is riding more in a saddle and seeing if maybe we can trot without bucking me off again. Baby steps, right?