|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.)