So my mom and I decided to go for a trail ride last weekend. It was very Windy. It is always windy here, so if you are going to wait for a calm day you are not going to ride much. We make a lot of jokes about Kansas and ruby slippers ’round these parts. We decided to take Webster and Whitman – no points for brains there. Whitman is as previously discussed a very powerful warmblood with a diva personality and a love of showing off. Common sense is not one of his attributes at times – evidently it isn’t one of mine either since I could take Ries (you know – the former race horse who is incredibly stalwart and stoic). But I needed to ride Whitman and was running short on time. Webster is also a diva but has a lot of common sense and perhaps the world’s best sense of self preservation, however that does not always extend to his rider. Its part of what makes him so great to drive, but when riding it does require that you stay on his back. Otherwise, your safety is not one of the variables he takes into consideration. So we hoped on to the two show offs and headed out. I think I have mentioned previously that one of the reasons I have always kept a “Fred” or a “Ries” around is so that we have a sensible lead horse to go on rides and set a good example. Webster and Whitman like to descend to the level of the worst behaved horse on the trail ride – so taking them out together means you can be in for a very unpredictable ride. Largely it went quite well.
At one point, Whitman got excited and I took advantage and got some of the lightest/easiest/most exciting piaffe steps I have gotten to sit on. Whitman was starting to offer it so I just started to cue and he went with it. It was one of those moments that explains all of the work that goes in to dressage and the harmony and ease that we are often relentlessly and fruitlessly in search of. If I could have figured out how to snap of selfie of that I would have put it on a t-shirt (jeans, flannel shirt, sport saddle – total Beer Budget Dressage moment). Webster, being Webster, of course had to start jigging and prancing as well. Both Fabio and Tom Cruise would have been jealous of that mane tossing display. A little later in the ride we were trotting along and the little Morgan with the full blown Napoleonic Complex decided to bolt into canter and blitz past my giant exuberant drama queen. Other than an attempt to invent canter piaffe, we survived that quite well and overall I was very pleased with how well Whitman was doubling as a trail horse.
On the way home we encountered our next “W'” with weapons and whirling. The neighbors were behind their hours target shooting. They could not see us, so missed the first display of whirling. We actually managed to stay on and the horses were very “up” but holding it together. Having gotten my mother (who has an artificial shoulder) dumped before, we decided on a few more “w’s” with the wisdom of walking home. We had just gotten both feet on the ground when the next shot went off. I swear turkey hunting must be done with a blunderbuss. The neighbors certainly caught that display of panicking animals and immediately stopped and apologized and let us get by without any further excitement.