Sorry for no updates lately, August has been a chill month what with Raglan’s shoe situation (only like three more weeks to go before he can have his front shoes put back on, UGH). That means no big updates on Rags (outside of the fact that he’s cute and accident prone), but there is news on Ezhno!
Ezhno and I haven’t been working super hard over the past week. At one point Ezhno wasn’t excited to be doing more halt to jog transitions, so instead of conjuring up a nonexistent work ethic I took him outside and we walked around the outdoor and then to the end of the driveway. We checked out BarnOwnerK’s truck, inspected some suspicious bushes, and listened to the chickens.
I’ve been thinking about Ezhno’s “purpose” now that I’ve decided to keep him. Purpose is an inherently human concept; if I was to ask Ezhno what his purpose is, he’d say it’s to eat as much food as possible. From my perspective, his purpose is probably performance—a slower jog/lope, a more consistent headset, better turns on the haunches, eventual flying lead changes… There’s a whole slew of things that could be improved upon that would make him more valuable if I were to pursue competition with him.
But I’m not pursuing competition with him, and I’m not the only perspective I have to take into account.
Say hello to LeaserS! LeaserS works four days a week at my barn cleaning stalls, turning out horses, and generally loving on the ponies. She’s friendly, outgoing, and straightforward. Like a lot of equestrians, she used to ride horses during her childhood, but she only recently started riding again. She’s been taking miniature lessons from other owners around the barn, but she’s also been looking for a safe, well-behaved horse that she can practice on more consistently.
She also thinks that Ezhno is the bee’s knees, obviously.
LeaserS is a confident beginner—only comfortable at the walk and the trot (she hasn’t really found her seat yet), but not easily intimidated. She rode Ezhno for the first time on Wednesday and once she had him figured out (and after I showed her how to direct rein because Ezhno’s neck rein game is much weaker than I thought it was, ha ha) the two of them were happily moseying around the arena.
It made me happy to watch the two of them. The thought that my beautiful, gentle, kind Paint is giving somebody else the same safe space to learn that he gave me… well, it’s heart-wrenchingly perfect. She officially starts leasing Ezhno part time in September!
Ezhno will never be a particularly competitive horse. He was bred without much of a plan (outside of his unique coloring) and his conformation’s not great; he’s not like the big, leggy, athletic creatures that have swept the performance world by storm in recent years. Performance wise, local APHA or PtHA shows are as far as he’ll ever go—and even those he probably won’t ever win.
But now that I have a second horse, Ezhno’s purpose doesn’t have to align with my ambition. Sure, I might still work on his lope and daydream about putting a flying lead change on him, but his greater purpose now is just to be safe—and he’s digging the easy work/massive amount of treats. 😀
Very excited to see how he and LeaserS progress together, I love watching other riders start a new journey!