Last week Kenny cruised a hilly 10 miles with just his bossy new human (moi)..
..and then tackled 19.5 more miles with buddies a few days later!
Kenny really impressed me this week, it was his highest mileage week yet and he was certainly not out of gas at the end of that nearly 20 mile ride which bumped him to ~30 miles in 4 days. He’s 14 hh with a horse sized head, feet are on crooked and he toes out remarkably, his chest it quite narrow and funny, and he doesn’t entirely enjoy riding solo. And yet..he comes when called, bumps me with that giant Morgan head (sometimes more affectionately than others), starts every ride with a pee, never passes an opportunity to eat or drink, has a strong, straight, smooth stride, and otherwise is an even keeled, fun, and snarky ride. I’ve got him in a Myler combo bit that seems to be working nicely and there is undoubtedly suppling arena work in need of doing but fitness and brain wise I’m feeling confident about Kenny’s first ever AERC event, the Whiskeytown Chaser LD coming up on April 9th. Fellow Renegader Melinda will be show and tell gluing our boots on before the ride as his difficult booting angles make strap on boots for events not entirely savory and we plan to ride with Kenny’s former owner/buddy T and her mare.
Between Kenny rides, I woke up one morning convinced that I was saddling up Apache and trail riding him that day. I went outside that morning smug in the knowledge that I had closed off my admittedly redneckified “lower gate” in the boys’ pasture the night before, thereby separating Kenny and Apache so that the former could have some peace from the latter in the last few weeks before his Whiskeytown debut. Actual assessment in the morning moment revealed Kenny and Apache very much in the same paddock, and the field fence panel I had closed completely blown open, hot wire busted off dramatically in all directions. Apache had 2 minute scrapes on his chest and a smug expression.
It’s been a long slow build to this point, from hand hiking around the ‘hood and trails, gradual reintroduction of tack, to getting popped out of the saddle onto my back in the kind round pen footing last summer, to some crucial help from a new friend prompting bareback and halter only reconnection and riding, rebuilding–to this:
We walked, trotted, whoa’ed, led, followed, crossed bridges, wove between the heat and excitement of a raging burn pile and orange clad trail workers with pitchforks, and we did it in style. Loose reined, ears up, giant swinging stride style. ❤ ❤
And finally, some glorious, nearly 5 year old chestnut filly flesh