Consider this blog hiatus over, guys. We’re back in the swing of things as the Smokey horse has arrived home for my riding pleasure.
And what a pleasure it is now!
Smokey’s month long boot camp with Elisa Wallace was pretty much one of the highlights of owning him thus far. He’s come back such a different guy (in a good way, of course). Over the four weeks he was at Rock Creek Farms, he got a crash course in being a real riding horse and general manners, to boot. He was used for all manner of horse round up, ponied other horse and reluctantly learned to pony himself. All of that from one of the best of the best!
Elisa even dropped him off last week on her way to Bromont with her 3* horse. It’s always a treat to get to see these really awesome eventing horses up close, and Johnny is one cool customer even after being on the trailer with my wild man.
Elisa also rode Smokes when he was dropped off since we both had some reservations about how he would handle being back, but it seemed to go quite smoothly and he did what he was asked, and of course Elisa made him look super finished and adorable. My out of shape butt got on him and I treated all the spectators to a delightful (read: pitiful) ride aboard my brand new little man. He was surprisingly tolerant of my ineptitude, and Elisa remarked that it was the most she has ever seen me ride. How embarrassing. As she put it “now is the time to push” in Smokey’s training (um, and mine). So we’re rolling on with that!
It’s been busy, busy, busy in my life for the past couple of weeks, so combined with the sudden afternoon deluges we’ve been getting, heading to the barn has been a crapshoot at best. I finally got to really ride on Saturday and I was thoroughly impressed with my little man. He was spot-on after being reminded that he actually did have to do what I told him, and never balked after that. Even when I realized that my out of shape-ness was the thing causing some of our troubles. He’ll learn to compensate for me and I’ll learn to work out and get stronger for him, it’s just a matter of saddle hours.
I even cantered! After puttering around trotting all over the place and running myself out of breath (not Smokey, though), I finally mustered the courage to ask for a canter. Lo and behold, the little guy remembered that he’s not supposed to do anything weird and really made some nice circles and even stopped when asked. What a treat! I honestly can’t even believe he’s the same horse. He’s just such an easy mount now. He is literally one of the most uncomplicated horses I have ever ridden.
That being said, I have naturally started to wonder where we’re going to settle in training-wise. Elisa is pushing for an English horse of some variety – he’s got the moves to do some dressage and he jumps adorably now, and I’m naturally leaning toward western disciplines because there is a handy-dandy horn right there for when I weenie out on something. Elisa would punch me for saying that. I think she’s training me the same way as Smokey….
Anyhow, the gist of this is that I’m dying, just dying, to go ride my pony all the time now.
Mommy loves me even more now!
Buuuuuut, I can’t tonight because I have to go pick up my brand spanking [previously-owned] new trailer! Yes, that’s right. Smokey and I are going to be mobile as of this evening. This means that we’ll be tooling around town in style and able to go not only to visit Elisa for more lessons and to show off how much we [really just me] have improved, but we’ll be able to go to clinics and trail rides and someday….shows! It’s getting fancy here, guys. I’ll take some pictures after it’s cleaned up. Right now it needs a serious bath and waxing.
Oh, and one last thing. I said a while back I was feeling creative; well, I wasn’t lying. Check out my little Etsy store of goodness: The Horse Mutterer. I’m selling custom branded brushes with mustang brands. They turned out really awesome and I’m pretty proud of them. Let me know what you think (heck, even if you think they’re ridiculously over-priced or terrible quality)!
Smokey’s brand is pretty illegible, so I made one for Elisa’s horse Fledge, who has a beautiful brand (he’s also the catalyst for me adopting Smokey). I think he liked it!