Not that I am counting, but it was 3 years, 3 months and 26 days since I last rode my horse.
That was…until YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!
Shocked? So I was I! I have been lunging Gen on and off this summer, but I had not given any real thought about riding him. So what happened? I have no idea…but I will tell you that I am CRAZY!
So about two years ago my vet gave me permission to get on and walk Gen. There was no medical reason that Gen could not walk around a ring with a person on his back. There was, and still is, a medical reason not to trot or canter, but walking was okay. So why did I not hop right on? Because my Gen, as much of a sweetheart as he is, can be a total fruit loop when mounted. There is a reason I got him for free! The way I fixed his original rearing problem was by teaching to run when he felt stressed. Bolting has never bothered me…I like to go fast and I would always get control back at some point. With bolting taking out of my tool bag, well, I just wasn’t sure how I could handle my little monster. I was nervous about riding my horse. He had a long time off and he was not a steady eddy to begin with.
I have said for two years now that if I was going to ride Gen again it would have to be on a triple digit day. Gen is not a hot weather horse so he would never be naughty with a heat advisory in effect. Well, this summer I was starting to run out of excuses because there have been so many days where it is HOT. Gen’s lunging was sporadic because of the heat and also because he was not always 100% sound on the line. I know that a lot of that is probably from 3 years off and being stuck on a small circle, so the idea that I needed to get on to him started to become more serious, but it was still just a thought.
I still don’t know what came over me, but yesterday before my lesson I joked with my trainer that today I was going to get on him because it was so hot. My trainer looked at me and then in total seriousness said that it sounded like a good game plan to her. Her reasoning was that there was my magical heat advisory in effect, I was getting ready to ride in my lesson which would mean I would be nice and tired so I couldn’t clamp down on Gen, there was a nice breeze so bugs would not be bad, I wasn’t prepared for it so mentally I could not freak myself out, and Gen had been perfect on the lung line as of late.
I stopped and listened to my trainer. She had some really good points. In the past 3 plus years my trainer has always wanted me to ride Gen, but this was the very first time she actually said flat out to do it. So I texted the barn owner at Hill farm to see if anyone was going to be around. As crazy as it is to just get on a horse after a 3 and a half year retirement I at least had the common sense to know I should not do it alone! When she came back and said that she would be there and hold my hand as necessary (reason number 987 why my horse is never moving). I couldn’t believe I was even thinking about riding my horse! My lesson was about to start to I pushed all thoughts of Gen out of my mind and focused on the school master.
By the time I left the barn I was starting to believe that I might actually get on him. As you can tell from my fantastically unmatching outfit, I really had not planned at all to get on Gen before that morning. By the time I got to Gennyral’s barn I was trying not to think about what I might or might not be doing. I tacked Gen up and he was clearly in a good mood, hot…but happy. As the barn owner and I walked up to the ring I just knew my horse would be perfect. Call it a premonition. I lunged him just to see where his head was at only to find his mind was and all that was running through his brain was the nap he was missing. So after a brief hesitation (including telling the barn owner where to find my insurance card) I stopped and talked to Gen.
With my head to his I told him that he had to be good because I really wanted to be able to walk him around. I swear Gen heard me so I took a deep breath and got on. Just like that. I just got on. I know…I AM NUTS! Gen stood there like a statue. He was PERFECT, but as you can see from the photo, totally confused!
I was beyond happy already just being able to get on him. As I told you before, I just knew he was going to be good, so I asked him to walk on. and he was PERFECT. Oh it was heaven to ride my horse again! His walk and my walk just sync up perfectly. I have never felt as comfy a horse as my own! Even better than the bliss of riding the perfect gait was the fact that Gen seemed to be enjoying himself. He kept all 4 feet on the ground the whole time! He didn’t even do his signature head tossing. He was PERFECT. He wanted to ridden. I was beyond happy.
My first ride back exceeded ALL my expectations. By about 100 times.
I RODE GENNYRAL!
Even if it was just a few minutes at the walk that is more than I could have dreamed of. I still can’t believe it. It makes me not want to go away and to just stay at home and ride him! I can’t wait to get out there again this morning to try it again. Man I am so happy!!!