|October 26, 2017||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
This season I made a decision to offer MerryLegs the chance to be my primary horse and semi-retire Farley.
It’s a lot less tramatic to make this transition because of choice of everyone involved instead of a traumatic sudden death. Farley is sound (!) and she may do an LD this winter. MerryLegs is young and green but game.
(Farley packing Fig around on an impromptou ride. Fig NEVER wants to ride. Except when I count on being able to ride and bring her bike and everything and squeeze in some time for Farley bareback time in the arena. THAT’s when Fig suddenly it’s time for a riding lesson)
PS – sorry for the size of the pictures. I can’t figure out how to change the embed size on instagram images.
The other day when I was trailering out for another ML adventure on the trails I got the “life is complete” feeling when it’s me, my truck, my trailer, and my horse headed down the road. But this time it was ML in the trailer instead of Farley – and I realized I had made the right choice even though up to that point I had felt very complicated about it.
So there it is. Farley is officially retired. It doesn’t mean that she will never do anything again but she’s no longer my primary and we are no longer officially working towards anything. Practically speaking it means she isn’t the first to get saddle time on schooling days (and often I only have time to ride one) and I no longer have to ask the question “when do I fit in a long conditioning ride in for Farley?”. I see us doing at least a couple LD’s together, friends and family riding her for social rides, and maybe scary trail adventures that ML isn’t ready for (although I’m finding out with a bit of faith ML is more ready than I thought).
Farley and I are like old friends that still like to catch up every once in a while but we are done with the sort of teammate/working relationship that we have enjoyed for almost 10 years.
(Recent ML ride on a local trail)
But let’s not let Farley’s retirement overshadow ML’s promotion. She’s graduated to position she apparently has coveted since the day she walked into my trailer. “Pick me Pick me Pick me!!!!” This month I threw her on the most technical trails she seen yet and solo she flew through it with more confidence than any 5-year-old should ever have. She’s a leggy horse but she organized and was so business-like I think she’ll make a single track technical horse. She was thoughtful and unhurried but never hesitant. Even with inexperience she picks good lines when she has choices on the trail.
The best part is so far she’s never given up trying to figure out what I want even when neither one of us knows the hell what we’re doing and I’m saying it all wrong.
If Farley was the one who said “let me show you”, ML so far says “let’s do this together”.
(That is a look that a 2-year old gives when it *all went her way* this time. Also, yes, this is Farley and not ML. Farley ignores the commands of little humans except when they coincide with the big human’s suggestions. I’m pretty sure ML and her could be adrenaline tots together and ride off into the sunset laughing. Nope, not yet).
So what’s the plan for ML? I guess I’ll do it like I always have. I’ll train until I feel like it’s time to do a ride, and we will keep moving up distances when my gut tells me too. Right now are walking for five or 6 miles in about two hours on the trail with very little trotting. Her brain and how mentally tired she gets after a couple hours is our limiting factor right now, not physical fitness. She’s younger than any other horse I’ve ever started in endurance so we have time. Lots of time. (I think.)
I’m so freaking excited for you. ML sounds like a future super star.
She really is. I got so freakin lucky!!!! It’s interesting to ride horses out of the same family. She’s Farley 2.0 but also a completely different horse. It’s really exciting.
I can also tell that this is probably the right move because I’m excited to ride again. You know, the short stupid little rides of 10 or 20 minutes That you do when you’re building a relationship. It isn’t just one more thing to try and schedule into my life
That’s the best feeling, isn’t it? Yay!
So…decade team? You’re not quite there with Farley, is it off the table now?
Excited, super-excited for ML. She’s gonna love trucking down the trails!
And where is your helmet, young lady? 😉
Locked in the trailer :-(. I don’t consciously choose not to wear it so the rides that do you happen without it are usually something like that.
Yeah, me in Farley are close but not close enough to decade team where I just need to squeak out one or two more 50s. She’s in her 18th year now and we need to do a 50 every year until current 21st year in order to get the decade team. It’s not completely off the table. There’s a ride coming up near the end of the season that is known for being a little short and because I’m going to try just throwing her into an LD ( The issue is she hates conditioning in all forms except actually being rides) I might try throwing her into that 50 knowing I can do most of it on foot and then she would have her 50 this year and we would see would happen next year. But with neither of us having any fun on a daily basis working towards that goal and having a lot more hissy fits with each other then enjoyable rides something had to change. I’ve changed some smaller stuff too that I think will help our relationship. I’ve spent almost 2 years with little exception not being excited to ride and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this change needed to happen. I’m not even sad about drcade team at this point. I’m just relieved that I don’t have to keep climbing uphill. She’s consistently told me over the last two years she doesn’t want to condition and do the work anymore. Tried a lot of different things to see if that change at some point I have to respect what she wants.
I understand…and I understand that it’s simultaneously an easy and a difficult decision. Good on ya for makin’ it–for everyone involved.
Now go get that helmet! (I had an instructor who would literally smack our heads repeatedly with a flappy riding crop if we showed up without a helmet, have never forgotten it!)
I contemplated not posting the pictures at all because I knew I would get flak for the no helmets, but decided that regardless of it, I wanted to share because they are cute pictures and I’d prefer to be honest and say “yep, sometimes I end up on a horse without one”.
Sounds like a good choice. I was forced into the “choice” of giving Joe the season off this year. It hurt at the time but I am having so.much.fun on Woody (6) that I’m seriously wondering whether to bother working Joe up to 50s next year. He’s only 12 and he doesn’t tell me he doesn’t want to do it any more but he’s not exactly enthusiastic either. I was shooting for decade team but we’d now have to start over, taking him to 22.. I’m actively looking for a junior to ride him as he’d be SO GOOD at teaching someone else the ropes and I do still want him in reserve for the Quilty in 2020, but I’m looking forward a LOT more to doing Woody’s first 50 with him next year than I would be to doing Joe’s 20th..
ML sounds like she is shaping into an amazing horse – I’d say the brain endurance will come faster than you expect.