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The Maiden Voyage


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#1 greygelding

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:40 AM

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There's a spring in my step this morning and I find myself singing along with the radio to the annoyance of my coworkers.
The mind is a funny thing. Like sandpaper on a piece of wood it removes the splinters and the sharp edges of memory so you're left with the smooth finished product. I tend to forget the hours and miles of work required to produce a truly great riding horse. There has been only one born perfect rideable horse in my life, Tezza, which I have just started to write about on my blog. Even my wonderful Mayo came with splinters that I have forgotten about over the years on my way to the bridle-less trail horse of his latter years. Mattie hit the trail yesterday evening and early this morning I awoke to find the door in my mind, where all the rough times are hidden, was now open. Oh, most are no big deal, but we tend to overlook them as we reflect on past events. Thanks Mattie for bringing this back to me.

With the threat of upcoming rain this weekend I could not stand to wait any longer, so when Pam called me at work I asked her to load saddles and the rest of the tack in the trailer so we could squeeze a quick ride in after work. On the way home, stopping only long enough to pick up something for dinner, so Pam wouldn't have to cook, I raced home with high expectations. The horses were in the pasture and ran to see me at the fence. When I started grabbing halters, Shar led the escape. Racing across the pasture I watched all 6 departing rapidly, tails flagged and manes flowing. "Are you sure about this?" Pam asked sweetly.
"Sure, watch this" I said with confidence. "Mattie! Come here boy!" Immediately he responded and raced right over to me which brought the other 5. Shar, of course, came a bit more reluctantly sure I was up to something. I slipped the halter on him and he was good to go. We walked Begonia and Mattie to the trailer and with the rope over her back she walked right in. While Pam was up front securing her I walked Mattie up. He went to the ramp, stopped, put two feet on it, stopped, put two feet in the trailer, stopped and waited. Pam walked up and with the touch of one finger on his rear he quietly walked in. Good Boy!
We kept an eye on him with the trailer camera and he was eating some but looked a bit unsure of what was happening. It's been a long time since he's been in a trailer and that was a really long ride so you can't blame him. About 1/2 hour later we arrived at our destination and I leaped from the drivers seat to unload, excited about the upcoming ride. When I opened the door I found a hyper, excited, slightly sweaty gelding looking around in wide eyed amazement. He had an eager expression like he thought I was unloading him in a field of carrots. Once again Pam asked "Are you sure you don't want to just take him for a nice walk?" "I do but from the saddle" was my reply. I was trying to show more confidence than I felt but I wasn't too sure Pam was buying it. As I tightened the girth for the umpteenth time it crossed my mind that at 65 I should be riding nice peaceful horses not breaking the wild bunch. LOL. When I mounted it became more apparent that he was feeling great. I must stop feeding whatever I'm feeding. LOL. As we progressed on our journey with Begonia leading the way he started to look around a bit and settled into the work. A few times I glanced down with regret at the camera hanging from the saddle horn
but there was no way I was not keeping two hands on the reins.
A few times he actually relaxed for a couple of minutes giving me a glimpse of what a wonderful trail horse he will become. He never shied from anything and the sun was setting all too soon. Tied to the trailer he was relaxed and happy and then he enjoyed our traditional after ride grass munch before he loaded right up to go home. After we pulled into the driveway in the dark the rest of the herd were welcomed us home in full voice. Everyone within a 2 mile radius knew exactly when we got home. LOL He wasn't sweaty on the return trip and he seemed quite pleased with the whole event.

Now I remember why I'm doing this - because it's FUN! I feel young this morning! Thanks Mattie and BFF!

An Irish blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Mike
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He knows when you're happy, He knows when you're comfortable,
He knows when you're confident, And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown


#2 OHR

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:03 PM

And you be 2 weeks in Heaven before the devil knows you're dead.


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#3 BFF

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:42 PM

Mike I am pretty teared up after reading this.

 

Thank you so much for sharing your stories with Mattie.  It makes me so happy for him.  

 

I can not wait to share this with everyone here at the barn.

 

Give Mattie a kiss for me. 


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#4 greygelding

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:02 PM

Mike I am pretty teared up after reading this.
 
Thank you so much for sharing your stories with Mattie.  It makes me so happy for him.  
 
I can not wait to share this with everyone here at the barn.
 
Give Mattie a kiss for me.


A kiss and a carrot.

Mike
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He knows when you're happy, He knows when you're comfortable,
He knows when you're confident, And he always knows when you have carrots.
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#5 ShadowfaxArabians

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 05:57 PM

I completely felt your nerves and then the joy as I read this! I've worked a long road to truly relaxing on horseback again. Now trail rides are exhilarating and refreshing! 


God Bless,
Kay


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"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and who have been called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28

#6 Dreamcatcher

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 04:38 PM

Mike, I can so relate.  I keep saying I'm going to quit riding the green ones.  Either get them broke and sell them on or let someone younger do all that riding, until I have a MADE horse.  I haven't ridden a MADE horse since I was in my 20's.  I'm not sure I know how anymore and I know I would miss the joy of discovering just HOW GOOD the green ones can be. Who needs no bumps, bruises or sore spots anyhow?  I'm going yelling, fussing and with my spurs on when St. Peter calls me.


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#7 TripleHFarm

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 04:57 PM

love reading your adventures