Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How hard can it be to go in a straight line?!

Playing with Melissa this summer: She's on Buddy, I'm on Duke, Doc's partner.
I spent the afternoon today out at my friend's house where my horse, Doc is living for the winter. She's nice enough to let me trade her a massage a month for the TON of hay that this 17 hand Percheron eats every month.

Things have been busy around here, so Doc has been running free on the 70 acres that they have, harrasing the mares and trying to cut the babies into a group away from their mothers. I'm assuming this is so he can have some sort of hear to heart with them about how to score with the ladies.

Apparently, he's getting a bit full of himself (and really, if you were huge and looked like you were made out of black velvet with a tail like THAT, wouldn't you?) so I headed out this afternoon in the snowstorm to meet up with Melissa and get a little workout in for both Doc and me.

Melissa is an incredible riding instructor, and one of those fearless women who can handle just about anything you throw at her. I worked with her over the summer, and she had no problem working 16 hour days, often 7 or more of those hours in the saddle. She can pack horses, train horses, cut up elk and guide hunters.

She's a certified firefighter and on her way to Paramedic school. She's an all around badass, and also a genuine good friend. Her ability to give to others seems to be never ending.

So, of course, when we were out playing on our ponies, I got to take advantage of her depth of knowledge in the horse area, and got some great and easy pointers on how to make Doc go in a straight line. (How hard can that be? Well, if you are a strong, willful, playfull horse who hasn't been ridden in a month, pretty hard!)

He seems to be fully recovered from his stone bruise, and we were able to ride and play for about an hour up there in the arena, bareback in the falling snow, wrapped in down and wool. (Yeah, I'm grateful for that Icebreaker on my tush on the horse as well as on the slopes!)

Doc. Yeah, he's a big boy.
It was a great afternoon, nice to connect with Doc, great to get out and play after a fairly stressful week, and it was a great workout for those powder skiing muscles! Working a horse bareback at a trot (unfortunately, I think Doc is still to fat to canter... uh, I mean big boned...) makes you squeeze like crazy, and all the good things get worked out, abs, adductors in the legs, smile muscles, its a good thing.

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