Sunday, May 8, 2011

Old School

The stats on these horses would indicate that they ought to be doddering, feeble, quietly ambling about the arena, content with a bit of a trot now and then, but satisfied with moseying also. I should have to say, "Let's let Jolly rest for a little while.", and "How about we give Raffles a break now.". I should not have to have someone lead Jolly around at the walk, to try and anchor him down so his rider can have some control.

The youngest one is Henry at a mere 17 years old. Then there is Raffles at 25, Rocket at 28 and Jolly at 31. They were all used in a group lessons tonight for adult beginner riders. Even after 2 hours, we were still having to hold them back. They were like war horses charging into the fray. "Bring on the dragons!"

Where had my steady, reliable school horses gone? Who were these nostril-flaring, speed-walking steeds? The poor college student who had come to help me out, left skid marks in the sand from trying to hold these old fools down to a walk. With my injured knee, I had no hope of keeping up with them so it was all up to poor college student to make lap after lap around the ring hanging, for dear life, onto the bridles of those horses who were determined to see who could get around the fastest. At the walk.

They could barely contain themselves. "Let's Trot!", they snorted, as if they were all stand-ins for the Black Stallion. Raffles, the only one allowed to trot, because his rider had done a bit of trotting before, went down the long side like a Saddlebred in a Road Hack class. His startled rider gamely tried to keep up with her reins up under her chin somewhere and her legs doing a kind of polka beneath her. After that he was only allowed to trot when sporting a poor college student sized hobble.

Before next week's adult beginner group lesson, I think the overly-enthusiastic, geriatric school horses are going to need some powering down. I'm not complaining, I'm glad my old horses are this spry and sound. It just caught me by surprise. I was unprepared for their effervescence.

My old horses look superb for their ages and apparently, they feel like they are half their ages. If I felt for one second that they were uncomfortable or feeble, then they would not be working, but rather lounging out in the paddock. For now, though, let's Trot!

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