An absolutely beautiful fall day. I get to the barn and walk past Alfie’s stall where I’ve got his ribbons still proudly displayed, I can’t hide the huge smile on my face. My boy. Oh how far we’ve come.
I start walking towards his field, looking at all the beautiful trees changing colors, the air is crisp, the sun is warm. As I approach his paddock, I see him. He sees me. He is standing next to his buddy Texas. I don’t say a word, I don’t call his name, I just look at him. And he comes to the gate. He knows me. He knows I’m his human. He’s happy to see me. I get his halter on, he lowers his head so I can kiss his nose. Oh that nose, how much I love that nose. As I go in for a few more kisses I smell the smell. It’s the smell that is what gets children hooked on horses when they are young. A few times a year, horses get that smell when the seasons change. It doesn’t last long, so you have to savor it. The aroma is hard to describe, a bit musky and sweet, the instant I smell it, I close my eyes and I’m a small child riding a pony for the first time. What an amazing way to start my day with him.
As Alfie eats his hydro hay, I start grooming him. It rained during the week so he’s got a nice layer of dried mud on himself lol. As the weather is getting cooler and his winter coat is growing in, bubbles and beauty bath time with momma is done until Spring. His winter coat is coming in nicely, when it’s fully grown in, he turns into my giant teddy bear.
I tack him up and into the arena we go. And as a side note, he stands now perfectly still at the mounting block. He’s respectful and patient. 👍🏻
Our lesson today focused on bending, working on our haunches and shoulder work and stopping. We are fine tuning our skills at the walk. Alfie was pretty focused today, and he didn’t give me a hard time with anything until the end of the lesson when he was tired.
At one point we were working on our forward walk and he broke out into a trot. Alfie wanted to move today. So we did. In fact, his trot was the most forward trot he’s had in awhile. My seat position was great, going in my stronger direction my diagonals were perfect, in the other direction, not so great but getting better.
I said to my trainer, if Alfie is telling me he WANTS to trot, we don’t argue with him, we go with it. I was even able to trot the corners of the arena as we went around to the other side. Normally we only trot in a straight line and walk the turns but today, nope, we trotted them – his idea, not mine.
Our lesson ends on a high note. I get him untacked and back into his stall. I make him some more hydro hay bricks, loving the faces he’s making towards me while I break up the bricks. We have our usual conversation…”Alfie it’s coming, I gotta make it, some of these bricks are hard to break up, some are easy…you yelling at me doesn’t make me go faster lol.”
While his hydro hay is cooking, I just look at my old man and I count my blessings everyday that he is in my life. I am so incredibly grateful for horses. 3 days a week I spend time with these animals. Each has their own personality, each of them teaches us something different. These animals are my sanctuary from the outside world. When I’m with Alfie and the other horses, whatever is happening outside the barn doesn’t matter. Only they matter. And for that, I am most grateful. So if you have that one place or activity that takes you away from the hardships of life, fight for it and never give it up. That is worth fighting for.❤️🐴