I can’t/shouldn’t dwell on the issues I talked about yesterday anymore for my mental sanity, so let’s think back on happier times.
The first time I saw Simon, he was a gangly awkward young Thoroughbred. My former trainer had recently brought him back from her western barn after a long layup, and she needed someone to give him some rides to see if he could fit into the lesson program. Horseless at the time, I hopped on and rode a few nights after work. Love at first site? Hardly. To be frank, I hated riding him.
He would violently flip his head every couple of strides. He raced around at the trot with no balance or cadence. He was so strung out and ornery that the I didn’t even canter the first ride. After a few nights of this, I kind of lost interest and moved on to another horse.
Flash forward a bit, and Simon came into the picture again. This time he had been worked with consistently by an intermediate teenage rider for several months (you know, the good kind that loves horses and doesn’t have a goal to jump 3’6″ in two weeks). For whatever reason she was pretty busy, and Simon needed some rides to get in shape for summer camp. Again horseless, I hopped on and this time had a totally different impression of the creature.
Due to her hard work, he was a lot more willing. This time I had a horse that was less ornery (but still worried), more balanced (but still motorcycled in all the corners) and overall much more pleasant to ride. I think it was probably 50% her work, and 50% the fact that I had been riding a string of unreliable (read bucking) horses lately. I got on this young horse, and he was like “I don’t really know what to do but I’m gonna do it and I really would like some guidance please don’t leave me up here”.
Within a week, I knew I wanted him.
As quickly as I could, I got Simon out of the lesson program. I did a “school horse lease” on him for a month, which means that he was still used for some lessons and summer camp. The girls at the barn would tell me that Simon “threw someone at camp today” over and over, but really what happened was he would just start trotting with beginner rider sand it would get faster and faster and faster until he started cantering and they would just fly off. Soon he wasn’t used for camp anymore.
Two July’s ago I had him vetted, and due to the kindness and generosity of my trainer at the time (which I am extremely grateful for to this day) I was able to call him my own. She gave him to me so he had someone to love him and give him a stable home. I’m so happy she trusted me with this horse, and I really try to keep doing right by him.