*Note: This is from last Wednesday (4-5-17). I plan on writing another entry for tomorrow. It’s going to post with that date so it won’t be so confusing.
A great horse, a great riding instructor and a great lesson? What more could I ask for? Avery was very, very forward and was excited from the warm weather and the audience he had to show off for.
The little chestnut pranced around the arena, his neck stretched and his muscles moving with every step. His trot is very bouncy and slightly uncomfortable until I found the right diagonal and rose out of the saddle.
We took several laps around the arena before attempting to slow the pace into a walk once more. He was happy, I was happy, everybody was happy. Well, except my aunt who was sneezing her head off. She’s allergic to ponies.
He would stop and glance outside the arena gate to the great outdoors. His pasture mate stood by the water fountain in the field, mocking the little chestnut. Avery (the 14.1 HH Morgan cross gelding) is the bully in the field to Bear, the 16+ HH Appendix Quarter Horse gelding. So Bear enjoyed the Wednesday mornings where Avery is inside the majority of the day.
After trotting several 10-15 metre circles by C and A, I asked for a canter with a gentle tap on the side. He seemed to understand and quickened his pace until he fell into a canter. Finally, he stayed on the circle we were performing and went straight after we returned to C.
We ended my lesson by walking outside by the hay barn with my instructor’s granddaughter who loves ponies and isn’t even a year old yet. My kind of kid!
After my lesson, my 2-year-old cousin got up in the saddle and rode for two laps. He seemed to enjoy it and had a death grip on the saddle. His little smile stretched from one ear to the other. After asking who he was riding, he said, “Abbery!” He slid off into his Mom’s arms and went to go see “Ebe and Wuna.”
My 6-year-old cousin climbed into the saddle after my 2-year-old cousin. He rode independently for a few steps then I clipped the lead back onto the leading Y attacthed to Avery’s bit. He claimed he was a real cowboy and kept saying, “Yeeehaw!”
They had to leave because both of my aunts are allergic to horses to the point that if horse hair gets in their eye, it swells up.
When they pulled out of the driveway, Alex was riding Avery. He only rode a few laps before deciding to get off because Avery wasn’t doing what he wanted. Autumn mounted after her little fall off of Luna. The girth became loose after several laps of lunging and Autumn’s posting went a little sideways.
Avery barely picked up his feet to walk for Autumn and she eventually got off as well. I grabbed hold of Avery’s reins and jumped up into the saddle after readjusting my stirrups.
He definitely wasn’t the tired pony he portrayed himself to be with my siblings. Avery returned to his very forward state and went into an unasked for trot around the corner. I let him trot for a several steps until asking for the canter. He was excited and full of energy and we cantered for 5 laps.
Avery was especially excited and went into a small gallop for about three steps and slowed back into his normal canter. I nearly panicked, but I stayed calm. I didn’t want to freak him out and get us both hurt.
He finally slowed down into a trot after he realized that this was hard work. He walked for about half a lap before returning to a trot, then back to a walk. He was a sweaty, nasty mess and he didn’t smell too good either.
I took off his saddle, girth and saddle pad and put it on the gate, then jumping on him bareback to cool him down. He seemed to enjoy it better than having the tack on. He didn’t try to trot or to canter at all, he just stayed at the comfortable pace of a walk.
He was a very good boy. I have to say, he seemed to be quite relieved that his lesson couldn’t be there that night. He loves his little riders, but when he’s tired, he’s tired. There’s no making him move faster than a walk.
My Pap took him out in front of the gate to their field while I had his pasture mate, Bear. I took both of their leads because Pap was wearing his dress shoes from work. Avery was overjoyed to be outside again. He was inside from about 8 that morning until about 6 that night.
He took off as soon as I got his halter off of his nose and galloped towards the top of the field. Bear looked at me as if he was saying, “You really have to leave me out here with him? Did you see the way he just ran up the field?”
Avery and Bear stood at the top of the field finally getting along again after picking on each other for a while. They are best of friends. The boys might pick on each other, but deep down inside, they love each other.
We drove down the long, gravel driveway and stopped to say bye to Avery and some of the other ponies before Pap took me home. A perfect pony, a perfect instructor, a perfect lesson, a perfect day at the barn, a perfect way to end the day.