We Ride Sport and Trail Magazine July 2016 - Page 14

Don’t let the word competitive scare you, it has lots of different meanings. Anything that pulls at your time and resources is in competition for your inspiration. It is true the information found there is designed for the competitive rider, but it is also meant (if not more so) for the rider who truly has aspirations for the cozy and familiar trail—I got this!

Riding out on the trail means riding in harmony with the earth as it’s happening: the turkeys dance before you as you ride forth, the deer skip alongside you as they proudly show off their antlers or their young, the song birds sing their hearts out to you while the crows herald your arrival. The sunshine on your back, the breezes of the field, the natural air-conditioning of the forests, the smell of the woods—unique to every season, it’s all waiting for you. Yes, that’s flowery writing but hey, that’s the point!

Here’s another case in point:

I recently was called to evaluate a very nice, registered, pinto Morgan. I loved her. She had a bright eye and quick wit that kept you totally engaged in riding her. I rode her in an enclosure that was attached to her pasture that she shared with an assortment of other breeds and combinations of horse sizes. They couldn’t be bothered watching her either, because even though she had drawn the short straw that was me and they were glad, they had spring grass to taste—another key feature every horse should get ahold of in life—grass!

“She definitely has a bit of reining training,” I narrated to the group of onlookers as I carefully checked what was under the hood. “She certainly seems sensible, like someone has put some decent time into her,” I followed up with as I evaluated her in response to my aids. I concluded she was just a little rusty. To myself I couldn’t understand her owner’s appraisal of her as “crazy,” until I stepped outside the ring with her.

Somebody switched horses.

Why do folks believe that riding around a ring gets a horse anything but lopsided in their view of the world (I’ve had show horses too). Without

With age comes wisdom, but this gal, having never grown up to face the world with the brain she came with, was left with “crazy.”

Rein Photography