Thursday, August 23, 2012
Rides with Boone
It has been the summer of "Me & Boone". I made a firm decision that I would ride more, learn more, and enjoy more Boone time. And I did. I had been duffing around for the first three years I owned him, taking him out on a road ride a week - but the cars, the unknowns started adding up and I became less confidant. He felt it and responded with some lazy or unreliable responses. And when a log truck is rolling down the road, you want to know your horse responds to your leg and gets "Over now".
So, I invested in a small horse trailer - it fits Boone perfectly - and I invested in renting time at a nearby barn and arena where Boone and I can go ride year round under cover, and then ride the beautiful 100 acre homestead that has been groomed for the horse riders in the barn. The owner is eighty and still rides and she has become a wonderful horse companion, teacher, mentor and inspiration to me. She sits and watches me and Boone ride and it has helped my confidence immensely.I never thought I could afford this, but I found this wonderful opportunity in my own backyard. Oddly, when we first moved here, I used to drive by the property and admire the quaint, somewhat raggedy property and old house and wondered who lived there. It spoke to me every time I drove by. I should have acted sooner.
I never thought I'd get into dressage, but here I am taking my first dressage lessons at 54. And I love it. Every two weeks, a teacher arrives for me and Boone. My goals when I started riding there were to get Boone to move forward better, and have a steady trot. That was it. We managed that quickly with riding more. He had other little quirks we worked on - he had been taking advantage of my lack of confidence and week leg. When I look back, he was a horse with me on top. Now I feel we are much more a team, but I am leading. I still have a lot to work on, but it has been the most rewarding experience to come this far with him.
It is like falling in love all over with the same person - working with him allows me to understand him more and more, and I feel I am clearer for him now too. One of my favorite times is to let him loose in the arena, and sit down somewhere on the ground. In seconds, not minutes, he comes and stands with me, in silence.
I took this picture yesterday on top of the homestead property. When I got home, I realized it was the same spot I felt compelled to take a picture in on a previous ride in June. I will have to take another come autumn.
There is nothing better than picking blackberries on top of a horse, and sharing them with him. Thank you, Boone, you carry me so well - long may we ride.