It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Piper came into our lives. Having her this long wasn’t totally the plan. My plan was to get her started in the spring, ride her a ton in the summer, and most likely sell her in the fall. If I kept her this long, I imagined it would be because I was enjoying having a younger horse to refine and and ride a bit harder than I can ride Steen these days.
The good news with regards to Piper is she’s a total doll. Her ground manners are impeccable. She’s sweet and soft and likes being around people. She’s green still, and can get tense in certain situations, but she handles her own anxiety well and calms down quickly given a little space and support.
The bad news is I put a lot less time into riding her last year than I intended.
But really, it’s not that the situation is bad. My reasons for not riding Piper have had little actually to do with Piper herself. Starting her was smooth. Every time she’s gotten a few weeks (or months) off because life got in the way, getting back on has been no big deal.
The same was true of yesterday when I climbed onto Piper’s back for the first time since November 1st. It’s crazy it had been that long, but first she had a minor shoulder strain, and then we were traveling. Since we’ve been back it’s been brutally cold, and I’ve had other horse issues to worry about (more on that soon).
I was ready for Piper to feel pretty rough around the edges. She didn’t. The first thing we did was walk some circles. Brian’s comment watching us: “I guess she’s been practicing those without you.”
We went on to some figure eights, and she was fabulous with those too. From there the ride continued to go well, though I could feel she lacks fitness and was a bit tight in the hind from standing around on ice in sub zero temps these last weeks. So we kept things short and non-challenging. My plan is to get her back in regular light work and build her strength back up so we’re poised for lots of good long rides when the weather breaks. Then I’m hopeful we can find the perfect people to take over her education some time in the summer.
That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll see how things pan out. Fingers crossed 2016 will be a little more conducive to following through than 2015 was.
Ride Time: 0:30
Horseback Hours YTD: 4:10