Blog Hop: Your Perfect Horse

Blog Hop: Your Perfect Horse

Late to the party (as always), but this one comes from Olivia, who challenged other bloggers to describe their “perfectly perfect ideal horse”. I think equestrians are hardwired with a natural proclivity towards daydreaming, so it wasn’t surprising that the moment I read the question my brain started churning.

Don’t get me wrong, I love these idiots, but if I had $1,000,000 in my pocket…

The first thing that always comes to mind when thinking about a dream horse is how the horse looks, so let’s start there. I want something big. Bring me a 17.2hh monsterβ€”I love the feeling of being the tiniest girl on the biggest horse. I want something athletic, but not lanky. He should have a thick neck that looks good with a roach. This gelding has big hindquarters, a short back, and clean legs. His head is attractive, but not delicate (he might even have a tiny bit of a Roman nose!).

Color, of course, is very important (hey, if we’re playing “dream horse”, we’re going to really PLAY it!). Let’s get real: I’m a sucker for the spotlight, so I’m going to go ahead and add the words PINTO WARMBLOOD to the list of requirements. That’s right, we wanna turn some heads!

This gelding is so athletic that lateral work feels easy. Counter canter is easy. Lead changes are easy. He’s such a good mover that if he didn’t have a passion for jumping he’d be a killer dressage prospect.

He’s got BIG gaitsβ€”the kind that make you feel like time’s slowed down and you’re not moving when really you’re covering a huge amount of ground. On top of that, he’s got the scope to get us out of any situation and to take me as far as I want to go (okay, maybe not the Olympics, but at least the cool 1.30m money winning classes they have at local rated shows).

Cornet 39, HUBBA HUBBA. (photo by Stefano Grasso from the Longines site)

My dream gelding is also young (four or five), because I love having a project to work on. He picks up on things quickly, but if he doesn’t understand something he keeps guessing until he gets it right.

His work ethic is huge (but he’s also very forgiving). Not only does he want to do the job, but he’s so game that he never says no to any fence (unless, of course, it’s too dangerous to jump). Even though my leg only comes halfway down his barrel, he listens super well. Sometimes he might get a little over exuberant when we’re jumping, but he slows down when he feels me getting off balance and tries his hardest to keep me on.

Umenno, another one from Solaris Sport Horses. 😎

This dream horse LOVES water and is great on trails. He might stop and look at things, but you can feel safe riding on the buckle. He’s a chill guy in general; he doesn’t mind if other horses smush up against him, and he keeps out of any major trouble so that he stays healthy and sound. He’s a little on the cheeky side (he loves to be all up in your business), but he’s got good ground manners. When I let go of his bridle he strikes a pose so that I can take majestic Instagram photos of his handsome face.

Radikal, from Cocolalla Creek Sport Horses.

If you add all of those traits together, you might have noticed that my dream horse looks suspiciously like the horse you might get if you took Ezhno and Raglan and smashed them together.

Now if only I could combine them into one knock dead gorgeous athlete…

Take Ezhno’s color, his hardy feet, and his brawniness and merge them with Raglan’s size, athletic ability, and squishy nose (then dial it all up to 10 and add in the innate ability to pose for photos), and you’d have something pretty darn close to my dream horse. Maybe someday I’ll find the perfect combination of the two of them, but for now I’m very happy with my two bozos! πŸ˜€

And if I can’t have my dream horse, I’ll just take Caribis Z. :mrgreen: (photo from NF Style)
Getting Raglan Back on Track

Getting Raglan Back on Track

Well, good news: the pads took 60% functional Raglan and turned him into 80% functional Raglan overnight. We put him on Bute for a couple of days anyways, which pushed him up to 95% functional, then once the effects of the Bute wore off I sent videos to the vet.

I was PUMPED. I was also cautious, because 1.) I didn’t want to break the horse again, and 2.) I didn’t want to die. Rags can get a little feistyβ€”and even with my recent confidence boost I’m still a pansy at heart.

So I pulled the spoiled student card and coaxed TrainerA into scheduling a time on Thursday morning to get onto the beast for me. I’m pretty certain he wouldn’t have given me much trouble if I’d hopped on (all of his naughtiness usually happens going into the canter and we’re still walk/trotting through life over here), but I figured I might as well use the resources I have to my advantage.

There’s still something there, but at this point we don’t know if it’s stiffness from spending the last six weeks in his stall, bruising on his soles that needs to resolve now that he’s got the pads on to protect them, or if there’s something more insidious going on. But since I’m a professional grade worrywart, I was really nervous that I was going to go out to the barn the next day and he wouldn’t even be able to walk.

Luckily for me he looked the same, so I climbed aboard for a short toodle to let him stretch his legs out.

It made my heart super happy to finally be back on my great big lug. Even at the walk it’s very apparent how different my two horses are. They think differently, feel differently, and move differently. They’re complete opposites in almost every way, but I love them both! πŸ™‚

Could you please stop breaking things tho? πŸ˜₯

I’ve decided Rags and I are going to keep our rides to walk only for the next week or so. With any luck that plus stretches plus a joint supplement plus maybe a massage will get him back to feeling 100%.

Some Things Aren’t Meant to Be

Some Things Aren’t Meant to Be

Well, Ezhno’s lease didn’t end up working out. πŸ™

Peacefully grazing with his buds, blissfully unaware of the strife he’s causing me. πŸ˜•

The day after my not so great ride LeaserS came out and had a pretty abysmal day with Ezhno. He got rambunctious on the lunge and she lost her grip on him, then she went to put him away and he tried to nip her/run her over on the way back to his stall (naughty pony!). She felt like he wasn’t the same horse as he was when she started leasing him and she made the decision not to continue with him.

This innocent face is a sham. A COMPLETE SHAM.

It’s been more than a week since she let me know and my feelings about the whole situation are still jumbled. On one hand I know from experience that once a horse strikes a chord of fear in you it’s very hard to come back from that. But on the other hand, I feel so disappointed. I offered to come out the next day and help her after he’d had a day off to gather his wits, but she just wasn’t comfortable with him anymore.

It felt like Ezhno and I had failed a test we didn’t know we were taking.

He’s thinking about the sounds he hears in the trees, not the consequences of his actions. πŸ™„

I think LeaserS and I both had different expectations. I warned her that Ezhno needed a very firm hand, but I wonder if I should have been more dramatic in my descriptions. I knew there would be an adjustment period and that she would need a lot of coaching to learn how to be confident when handling him. She seemed excited, but I don’t think I accurately conveyed just how steep the learning curve would be.

Throwback to October 2016, about three weeks into our relationship. We started off by taking lessons twice a weekβ€”my very being as an equestrian was forged on his foundations.

I bought Ezhno from a family that was selling him because he intimidated his young rider, but it’s different to experience that capacity in person. In the time that I’ve owned him, I feel like I’ve only ever been truly afraid of him right after he was coming off of stall restβ€”and I just had to trust that after a couple of weeks of lunging/trainer rides he was going to be back to the old Ezhno. It takes a long time to find that trust in a relationship, and it makes me sad that I won’t get to see him develop that with another person.

Another throwback, this time to November of 2016. Our very first schooling show! Some days I feel discouraged that he’s still got a bit of head toss, but looking back he’s improved so much. πŸ˜€

I keep wondering if there was something I could have done to prevent things from reaching a breaking point. She’d told me a few days earlier that he’d been testing her under saddle, but I must not have fully understood because it felt like her final text came out of nowhere. If I’d been at the barn when she came to ride on Sunday, could I have diffused the situation? So many “what if” moments.

For all of his faults, I don’t think it’s possible for me to love him more than I already do.

I’m not sure what my plans for Ezhno are now. Do I try to find him a more experienced leaser? Should I move him to a cheaper facility with trail access? Is it worth it to continue with his western/performance training? Or should we spend some time exploring dressage?

The Universe’s plan for us looks murky… but I’m sure we’ll sort it all out eventually. πŸ™‚