Into the Darkness

Into the Darkness

Last night was hard. As excited as I am to have Ezhno back, I’m also anxious about the financial burden involved. I’ve already got a not-so-small amount of debt, so paying board for two horses makes my stomach clench. And then I started worrying about how Ezhno was settling in at the new facility (which is ridiculous; he’s the most laid back creature ever)… in the end, I decided to take advantage of how close Ezhno’s barn is to my house and swing by on my way home from work.

Look at this beast! He’s clearly in distress! Yeah, he was fine, obviously 😅

I intended to just check in on Ezhno (and SellerH’s horses!), so I didn’t bring in any of my junk. Once I was in the barn, though, I couldn’t help myself. I put Ezhno’s halter on, took him into the dark arena (I couldn’t find the lightswitch LOL), tied his lead rope into a pair of reins, and wiggled my way onto him.

There are days where my fear cripples my ability to ride. But, when it comes down to it, there is no other horse out there I would get on in the dark, in a new place, with his blankets still on, without my helmet, with only just a halter and a lead rope, with absolutely no fear to be felt.

He’ll never be the strongest or the fastest or bravest or the most talented, but he gives me so much.

The Prodigal Son

The Prodigal Son

The past two months have been good for me. The money I saved from not paying Ezhno’s board convinced me to purchase the Miley, plus I’ve had the chance to focus on Raglan’s training and really get to know him without having to split my attention between two horses. In all honesty, it’s been a relief to take a step back and let someone else worry about Ezhno for sixty days while I got my relationship with Raglan sorted out.

None of that changes the fact that when SellerH messaged me to let me know that she’d be moving all of her horses into full care board and that she wouldn’t be able to afford to keep Ezhno, I was so excited. I didn’t realize how much I missed spending time with my favorite Paint while he was gone.

SellerH planned on moving all of her horses at the end of Ezhno’s lease. The board at the new place (currently dubbed 10M in my head, since it’s literally ten minutes from my house) is suspiciously cheap, so I sent Ezhno with them so that I could check it out. More on the boarding situation later, but for now suffice it to say that Ezhno was as chill as ever and settled right into the new barn.

The moment we had everything put away, I threw my bulky-as-hell show saddle on Ezhno and took him to hand walk a couple of laps in the arena. He didn’t really look twice at anything, so I hopped on and we walked and jogged for a little bit. A few taps with my spurs and he settled right in.

Looking good, though he does seem ever so slightly off on his left front at the trot… It’s his tricky foot to trim, so I’ll have my farrier look at him if it doesn’t go away in the next couple of weeks.

I’m not going to lie, now that I’ve figured out what sort of horse I really enjoy riding, Ezhno’s not the funnest steed around. He’s so lazy. I hate the stupid western saddle, it makes my thighs hurt. Jogging makes me feel like I’m going nowhere and I miss the feeling of having a huge engine underneath me that I can rev up when I need it. In short: two months hasn’t changed the fact that Ezhno’s not my type anymore.

But as I led him out to the parking lot so that I could dump his saddle into my car (there’s no lock on the tack room), I was reminded me of the first time I met Ezhno, back in September 2016. I’d come out to look at him after spending the morning at a schooling show. He’d been so quiet during our ride, to the point that I thought he was boring, but I appreciated the way he trailed happily behind me and how he hadn’t flinched when I chucked the saddle onto the hood of the car and threw the door to the back seat open.

Throwing a different saddle into the car a year and a half later, with the same beautiful face standing politely at my side

After our reunion ride was over, I fed him a handful of treats, shared part of my apple with him, and then went and sat with him in his stall for a while. He might not be my favorite horse to ride anymore, but that doesn’t make his place in my heart any smaller. Glad to have you back with me, bubba ❤

schlorp schlorp schlorp 🍏♥

A post shared by Stephani & Ezhno & Raglan (@two.hearts.one.oxer) on

The Old Stomping Grounds

The Old Stomping Grounds

Another Sunday and another adventure away from the barn with SellerH! This time we decided to haul out to the SEC to use their outdoor arena in hopes of getting some cute pictures of SellerH’s latest sales horse.

Unfortunately, the outdoor arenas were in super rough shapelots of water and overgrown grass. Add in some huge gusts of wind and we ended up turning back and high-tailing it into one of the indoor arenas instead. Sadly, my indoor photography skills are pretty much zilch (I think I need a newer camera body that can shoot at a higher ISO), so that meant no fancy photos. 😕

Walking back to the indoor arena in the wind

Raglan was a handful when I lunged him before I loaded him onto the trailer (there were a couple of times where he took off and I went arena-skiing LOL), so I opted to put him on the lunge before I got on. He got a little wily, but eventually I realized that if I wanted to ride my horse I was going to have to bite the bullet and just get on him, even if he did have some gusto on the lunge line.

Raglan’s never been to the SEC. It’s a super busy facilityhorses coming in and out of the arena, huge truck/trailer rigs pulling into the parking lot, dogs running and barking outside, and lots lots lots of wind. He’s not a particularly spooky horse, though. He was definitely taking in the sights and his feet got stuck in place a couple of times, but not to the point where I felt like he might do something naughty. As soon as I let myself relax he melted back into his regular chill, stretchy self.

The nice thing about Raglan is that he’s constantly pushing me outside my comfort zone, but not to the point where I get overly upset. The whole time I was riding he felt strangely light and powerful, but not malevolent or flighty. I don’t really feel like I’m learning anything unless I’m at the edge of my comfort zone, but it’s also easy for me to wring myself into an anxious mess, so Raglan is a perfect balance.

We stayed at the walk for the most part, with a little bit of trot here and there. If he’d been less ridiculous on the lunge line I might have done a few steps of cantering, but oh well, there will be other days!