Saturday, March 16, 2013
A Special Day in My Life
Back in 2008 when my son, Eric, was 14 years old he decided that he wanted to start riding horse with us, so I threw him up on my QH, Jake, and off he went. He was one of those naturals that just hops on and seems to know exactly what to do. Case in point; he asked me how to post the trot and I explained it to him, telling him not to get discouraged because sometimes it took people quite a while to figure it out. We took off at a trot and he said "Is this how you are supposed to do it?". I couldn't believe my eyes, he was posting!!! I can't tell you how long it took me to figure out, I had to do the "1,2,1,2,1,2" in order to get the beat, lol! Anyhow, he decided he wanted to continue to ride so we bought me another horse, Shya, and I gave him Jake. We rode as a team on Competitive Mounted Orienteering that entire season. At the end of the season he stated "I don't want to ride horse anymore", and he stuck by it and refused to ride. Now I had three horses and two riders, teenagers!!! Jake was in his mid to late twenties and it hurt my body to ride him so he became a pasture pet. It has bothered me to have him in the pasture not being ridden because he is an amazing horse but Shya is just sooooo much smoother (and for a horse now in his early 30's he is in amazing shape). I have asked Eric time and time again if he would ride with me and he has refused every time. Until this week. I asked him if he would ride with me over Spring Break and he said YES! I hooked the trailer up yesterday morning with high expectations of driving an hour away, riding in the mountains, then picketing and enjoying a picnic lunch while we enjoyed the bluff view. Didn't happen, he wouldn't get out of bed. By 11 am my hopes were dashed. I figured he was blowing me off when he jumped out of bed and said "Let's go". Luckily we have some trails only 5 miles away from our house. They are logging trails that are no more than an hour and a half long, I wasn't going to get my picnic lunch but at least I would be riding. When we got there he helped me tack up the horses, and he remembered everything. Shya can be a bit of a handful so I put him on my husband's curly, Pickles. We took off and Eric asked why her ears were back. I looked at her and could tell she was trying to figure out who was up there. It was so funny. After a bit her ears came forward and she was fine (Pickles has mostly been ridden by my husband since we got her, with an occasional ride from me). Both girls were taking it really easy, as if they knew he hadn't ridden in a while. Shortly into the ride, Eric was ready to move out faster. Neither one of the girls is a leader so it was a bit of a work out on our parts. Shya kept slowing down in an attempt to let Pickles pass her so she wouldn't have to lead. Pickles would slow down so that she wouldn't have to pass Shya and take the lead. The same thing happened when we put Pickles in front. Our curly girls are NOT the most motivated when it is just the two of them so this was really good for them. It gave me a training opportunity for both the girls, which I love. I finally got Shya to be willingly in the lead and loping. I looked back at Eric and saw a big smile on his face as Pickles broke into her rocking horse lope. Tears of joy came to my eyes, I was riding horse with my son! How wonderful that I got to share this special day with him and our Curly girls. It is one I will always remember. Oh, and at the end we came across a few hikers who asked about our horses and I was able to pass on the word about our special horses with their hypo-allergenic qualities!
Tammy Fitzner, Tennessee
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