Monday, March 31, 2014


When work is so annoying that I may just lose it with one more crabby email, it's time to ride the pony. Honestly, even if he is awful, at least he isn't trying to do my job, coming back with more stupid changes, or sending long emails copied to everyone else, thinking adding more people to the discussion is a good idea (hint, it's almost never a good idea).

Major needed something too. He actually cantered up to the gate when I got there, ready to go. Normally he sedately walks up. There was a storm blowing in, but there were a few more hours of dry. The trails are wet but not soggy. We even headed out without the normal hanging back, both ready to move.

So I let him go. Fast. Whatever he wanted within reason. Yes I'm a terrible horse mother. I let him get away with crap. We blasted up hills I usually make him walk. We cantered windy singletrack and repeated a hill set three times. We slowed for mud puddles and some bites of neon green grass, scared some deer, chased a wayward jack rabbit up the trail, and got to see how fast a startled turkey can run (surprisingly really, really fast!).

I had wanted to do a few shorter, faster rides for conditioning, so it was perfect timing. And actually, he was surprisingly good. I don't really want to have to let my horse canter for four miles before he listens, but the last couple miles coming home he was better than usual. I think compromising with more speed really makes him happy and leads to less fighting, though it's harder for me to adjust to.

(Of course fast is relative. In the forest where I ride there is maybe 50 feet of smooth trail. Everywhere else is hills, rutted, rocks and more. Major is luckily sensible enough to slow down in bad footing. So our fast rides are cantering/trotting interspersed with walking down steep hills, over rocks and detouring around fallen trees, we can average about 6mph.)

Yes, I work many hours on making him behave, and slow down. But there's a time and a place, today wasn't it.

Major trotted off with a spring in his step, I went home a little lighter. I think we both needed a ride with a little bit of controlled chaos.


  1. I think there must be something in the air was definitely one of *those* days, apparently for a number of people.

  2. Absolutely important to lead in a way that embraces your horse's strengths and works on their weaknesses without hammering at them. It's so interesting to me to adapt my strategies riding a super Turtle (Scrappy) as compared to mid/nearer front pack Desire. It's really a completely different ball game in management in training, speed, etc. Fascinating.

    Anyhoo--glad you felt better. Those silly steeds of ours do have that power, don't they <3

  3. Sounds like a wonderful ride.

  4. What a great ride! Our ponies always have the power to make us feel better. :)

  5. Controlled chaos is a beautiful and terrifying and sometimes necessary thing.

  6. Sounds like you both needed to blow off some steam.. I think that sometimes, it's just ok to let our inhibitions go and be a little reckless (within reason) .. that urge to race the wind and be a little wild astride a horse must be allowed to bubble up once in a while..

    I hate emails like that as well at work..everyone playing the CYA game..