Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Liz and Traveler, Look Out!!!

Yep, Liz, you and Traveler have major competition now...
Susan and OYY Salvadore the most beautiful pony in the world
Check it out!  Not only did I have the honor and the privilege of riding the most beautiful Curly pony in the whole world (and, yes, that is my honest opinion - just look at him if you think I'm joshing) but I had my very first "real" jumping experience!
Some of you may remember that I mentioned in my last post that I was going to Betsy Lirakis' Top O' The Hill Farm in Springfield, Vermont on a Curly Rescue Mission last weekend.  Fellow 2013 RACer Laurie Lee picked me up on Friday [ahem, even though earlier that morning, her truck brakes let go in the city and she just about ran over - and yes, totaled - a Subaru that had the misfortune to be in front of her truck & trailer combo. She texted me to say "Our trip will be delayed," borrowed a truck, picked me up, and the rest is history.  That is a horse person for you.] , and we spent the weekend with Betsy and Zoe. What a fabulous time we had!
Saturday, Betsy and Zoe were getting Cosette ready for her pre-purchase exam.  Since I brought my Bob Marshall Sport saddle to show Betsy,  and Cosette is going to be ridden western by her new owner, we thought we'd kill two birds with one stone and try it out on her. That was fun!  Even though I have fairly major fear issues (still, after nine years) with riding an unfamiliar horse, I sucked it up, took some relaxing deep breaths, and rode Cossette down Betsy's loooonnng driveway.  I had my stirrups too long, but at least the saddle was familiar.  Cossette was a doll!  Someone sure is getting a beautiful, safe, talented smooth-coat Curly to ride!  And she is just the right size. :) I took her down the driveway at a nice, even walk and then trotted and cantered her on the way back.  At first, I was nervous and screwed up the canter cue by hunching too far forward (as you will note on the video), but Cossette cantered anyway. What a good girl she is!
Riding the lovely OYY Cossette in Vermont Can you tell that by the end of the video that I am much more relaxed?  I was yammering away, waving my arms around like a Frenchman [or maybe I should say, like Grampy Avenengo, so I don't offend anyone ;) ] I think Cossette liked it. I'm sure she thought, "Well, at least this is better than her all stiff and hunched." Thank you, Cossette!  After my turn, Betsy and Zoe both tried Cossette with my saddle, which they liked.  Me, too, still love it!
WELL! Then it was time to get OYY Salvadore out.  Zoe fetched him out of the paddock, with me tagging along behind, trying not to wonder if I had the balls (sorry, guts) to actually do this.  Betsy and Zoe groomed him, trimmed his feet and saddled him up, and then Zoe took him up to the indoor and rode him.  He is so handsome!  I was mesmerized! Betsy headed down to the house to grab an apple for lunch, and even though I was hungry, I didn't want to leave, so I asked her if she would bring one up for me.  I felt badly for being so selfish, but in my defense, remember I have confidence issues and watching Zoe with Salvadore just  whetted my appetite for more.  After thoroughly warming him up, Zoe popped him over a few jumps..and then it was my turn!
He was a good boy at the mounting block for me and wanted to thoroughly sniff my left boot, which I found endearing.  We walked around the indoor.  I didn't feel under horsed at all.  Salvadore is a big little Curly! Once, he took me too close to the side of the indoor and my boot hit a beam.  This is what happens when you have never ridden in an indoor, you point your toes out too much, and you really don't know what you are doing, haha!  I kept him off the wall after that.  After a few rounds, I asked Zoe, "Am I ready to trot now?" She responded, "I don't know, are you?" with a big smile.  Well, yes I was!  Off we went at a nice clip!  Too nice of a clip, Zoe had me slow him down a bit, and then  I heard Betsy and Laurie encouraging me and telling me how good we looked together.  I don't know if I was smiling on the outside because I was concentrating on being in the moment (and not screwing up!), but I was overjoyed on the inside!  A few more turns around, and I was ready to attempt to pop him over a cross rail.  Oops! He sidestepped it!  But, I forgave myself and didn't let it bother me a bit, because never having really done this before (I am not counting jumping stuff on the trail, yes, I have done that for sure) in the "proper manner," how was I going to learn without making some mistakes?  and the next time I asked him for the jump, I meant it, and over he went. YAY!!!!!!  We did it quite a few more times! My friends gave me a few pointers, and Salvadore and I continued on in grand style!  I loved it!  So exciting  and fun!  We ended on a good note, and then one of my friends mentioned the outdoor big ring...well, I was game!
Down the long driveway I rode on this beautiful pony. I walked and trotted him around the big outdoor ring a few times, and then I took him over the lowest cross rail.  Yee-haw!  My spectators egged me on! Eventually, I did a double jump!!!! (like I said, Liz and Traveler, look out!) and even the whole round (sans the "really big" yellow jump at the end)!  I even took Salvadore over the fairly big (well, you know, for me) white jump that I am showing here. 
Zoe, Betsy and Laurie couldn't believe it!  They all wanted me to do the round again, so that they could take a picture, but I was so happy and thrilled, and I had the common sense to end on a very positive note with this handsome pony, so I stuck to my guns and dismounted.
What an experience!  "Real" jumping was an item on my bucket list, but at 52 years old, I had pretty much written it off; but now, I have crossed it off instead!  Living the dream, thanks to my thoughtful, kind and wonderful friend Betsy, whom I love dearly! I never thought I would have the opportunity to ride the most beautiful pony in the whole world.  What a day!
And, I must say, if anyone is in the market for a very fancy child's jumper or show pony, you would be crazy to pass up OYY Salvadore.  He is absolutely amazing!
By the way, Harold, you asked me to ride for you, so I took you to Vermont with me.  Here you are in various places all around Betsy's farm.


Just for the record, back in Maine on Sunday night, I rode my handsome boy Ah-D.
I took Harold along.

And Ian, who must have inherited that Frenchy-Basquey streak. :)

"My" old truck is still there in the woods.  Have a great evening!


  1. Wow, what FUN!! I am so jealous. I would have loved to be there. Sal is MY personal favorite pony stallion too. I mean, who could help but love that handsome boy! You look fabulous on him..and Cosette too! REALLY great job Susan. Thank you for posting your adventure with all of us...

    1. You bet it was fun, Denise! He is the perfect pony for a person of your size, too. You would LOVE riding him! (and jumping him - I wasn't scared at all!) He is so balanced and athletic.

  2. Unfortunately or fortunately Sally is now a gelding Denise. He had some great babies for us and now it is time for him to start his new journey as a child's jumping pony.

    1. And what a FANTASTIC pony he is going to make for someone of smaller stature. So talented and well-mannered.

  3. Hi Susan,

    Every time I see or read a story with you on the RAC I have to leagh....at the beginning you told me I don't join the partition part because I don't have the time but I do think most messages are yours hihi!
    wish I could ride with you ones!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Well Susan I have been trying to leave you acomment but don't seem to be able to post, I will try again today,,, As I said before thanks for the ride I really really enjoyed it and reading about it, I also was nervous on a different horse, thought Jed and I might get blowed away at first, great pictures and great story as usual,, Thanks again

  6. Ha it worked today,, I must be getting old

  7. What fun! Go girl go!!!!! We will start our own Curly eventing team.

    1. Haha Liz, You will ride the Big Boys and I will ride the Little Boys (except I don't think they allow adults to jump ponies).


Blog Archive