I’ve been writing about everything but the barn, so you may think that I’ve continued the passive attitude I’ve had about the barn since fall of 2016. In actuality, I’ve been riding quite a bit and getting my head back in the game.
Simon’s lessee started to move to another horse in November of last year, so his work scheduled declined until he basically turned into an unemployed Thoroughbred. He did his part to keep up physical fitness by self-lunging in the pasture and diligently acting as his pasture mate’s personal trainer, but the only time he got ridden was an occasional hack by me or jumping lesson by a trusted friend. My life was so hectic throughout December and mid-January, that Simon 100% took the back seat. I used up all my financial resources and favors keeping Roman ridden and tuned up, and simply knew Simon would be fine with a few month vacation. So that’s what he got.
Now that my life has settled for a bit, I’ve been back at it with my main man. First order of business was reminding him that yes, he did need to bend in the corners and no, he just shoot from slow pokey trot and fast strung out trot. Simon has a heart of gold and always gives 100% jumping, but if you keep him out of regular work his flatwork goes to total shit.
However I’ll give a lot of credit to my former lessee’s riding and say that he’s come back better than ever. A lot of his issues on the flat are far improved from when I handed him over in summer of 2016. Some of that may be maturity, but a lot is due to her consistent and proper riding.
When I first started back up riding, Simon did what he’s always done after I’ve taken a vacation or break — give me the cold shoulder. He’ll turn from the stall silently as if to say, “Oh you? Well imagine seeing you here…” It only took about a week for him to realize that I was routinely coming to ride him again, and then he started greeting me with his normal deep nicker and enthusiastic walk from across the pasture.
Today he’s tuned up and ready to go, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting consistent rides on my heart horse again. I completely underestimated how important Simon was to my overall happiness – even if he doesn’t have a lead change. Riding him again has made me realize that if I ever go down the green horse path in the future, I need to do so in a world where I can afford to keep two. Even if Roman has a challenging day (lately he hasn’t. he’s been amazing… someone buy him), I can hop on Simon and feel like I actually know how to ride. You can’t put a price on that.
Even so, finances are still struggling right now. I’ve found a lovely young lady to do a half lease on nerd horse with me. She’ll ride three days a week, and I’ll ride between two and three. The selfish part of me doesn’t want to hand over my horse again, but with the state of things right now I think this is the right choice. Plus, he’s really good at making other people happy. Sometimes it’s nice to share that, because at the end of the day I know he loves me the most and he’s never going anywhere.