|Yay! A good trot pic!|
I have always loved to share my horse, but have NEVER had a desire to sell or lease him out. He's a pretty big financial/physical/emotional drain, but I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. I've offered several times to good riding kids the opportunity to come and ride my horse. No strings, no charge, just a nice ride. I've been taken up on it a hand full of times, but it's not usually a repeat performance. The barn is just too far out for most of the riders I know, and he isn't necessarily the easiest ride on the planet ... plus, I'm a bit of a control freak, and there are very few riders I'm comfortable with actually messing around/riding my horse while I'm not there. If I'm watching, SURE! I'll let pretty much anyone try him. But alone? Only if you pass muster;)
Yesterday, I finally got a young lady out to the barn I've known for about ... 7 years? now. She goes to a local college that is NOT far from the barn, and finally all the offerings of a free ride were taken seriously, and she came out yesterday to try him out. This girl is GOOD. She has had several ponies she's taken from pretty rank to hunter machines, and on her most recent guy has competed in the Jr/AO hunters. She's horseless at the moment while she finishes college, so I offered up Tiki as just a fun little distraction. Not only did she ride him beautifully, she loved him:) She picked RIGHT up on my eternal issue with him; those downward transitions without yanking the head down. She popped off a few picture perfect flying changes, just further reiterating that his half change is probably 99% MY fault, and even took him through the gymnastics I did Friday.
She genuinely thought he was so cute and fun which is EXACTLY what I think:) She also confirmed that even though he isn't EASY, he is very simple and easy to figure out his buttons. Yesterday, he was steady in the contact (on a really soft rein), he wasn't chewing hard and crossing his jaw (normal cavesson/D-ring), and that rhythm was slow and forward. I dropped the jumps to poles again since Lovely Rider hadn't taken him through gymnastics before, just leaving both xr's. His rhythm was SO nice ... AND she trotted him in each time. He totally adjusted himself, and stayed in a VERY nice rhythm once I got the 2 askew poles set as well. I was right; his front end was up and very careful looking. Over the oxer he jumped it super: still tracking left through it, he touched the front poles for some reason, but didn't whack it like Friday. I raised the low ends of the oxer 2 holes, bringing the height of the oxer up to more like 2'9ish, and he didn't bat an eye.
The day ended with me showing Lovely Rider where all his stuff was in case she ever felt like coming out to ride him. I only sit on the booger 3 times a week, average. 4 if he's LUCKY. And never on weekends unless I'm doing some sort of activity with him. This morning, Lovely Rider went back out to ride him again this morning:) I'm so happy that she liked him! She will go out and ride him periodically when she is at school on the weekends and can't ride at school. It's such a weird feeling knowing Muffin is getting ridden without me:) I KNOW he will only benefit from having her on him ... she had some good ideas to get him off the hand in the downwards, so I'm happy. LOVE IT when other people love my horse ... he is my heart horse <3 p="p">3>