Flying lessons!!

My ride on Sudi yesterday was nothing short of amazing.  That horse is extraordinary!!!  My farrier, Audrey, is one of the most brilliant horsewomen I’ve ever met.  She’s so giving of her time and knowledge.

I called Wally before I went out to catch pack the truck and trailer and catch Sudi and told him that I was scared.  He admitted that he was worried about me too.  Luckily, none of my fears came true.  I’m so guilty of “fear of impending doom.”  It’s going to prematurely age me.

As I drove down the driveway, Sudi was spinning like a top in the trailer.  Lovely.  He settled down as soon as we got going and rode quietly the rest of the way to South Mountain.  Audrey was about 45 minutes late and I thought I’d be riding by myself, but she pulled in around quarter of 12.  Gel was with me and having the time of his life.  Every time a park ranger drove by, I lied him down so they wouldn’t notice he wasn’t on a leash.  Well, he was on a leash, an invisible one.

Audrey set up my rope halter under Sudi’s bridle like a hackamore and told me to “stay out of his mouth.”  I did as she said and rode him most of the ride with just the halter.  Actually, I don’t think I used the bit at all.  We started out at a walk, climbing a steep incline at a walk.  Sudi wanted to trot or canter, but I held him back.  Then we trotted, and trotted, and trotted.  Audrey was giving me instruction the whole way of how to best sit in the saddle to allow Sudi to extend at his trot.  When we started to over reach (clicking his rear feet to his front) she told me to sit back more to pull up his front end.  It worked.  He only has shoes on his front feet right now so he’s a bit unbalanced.

I thought this was going to be a walk/trot event.  I was wrong.  Audrey had more excitement planned for me.  On several sections of the 13 mile loop we took we galloped up the hills and on several of the flats.  I wish Audrey could have taped the sound effects going on behind her.  I was scared to death a good part of the time we galloped.  That horse flies!!!  Audrey’s horse, a beautiful gray mare, flies.  It was beyond exhilerating!!!!

At one point, I was in front and Sudi spooked a bit at the top of one of the inclines.  The right half of my body came up off the saddle.  Thank goodness he has a nice thick neck to grab on to.  I managed to stay on.

We stopped for a break at the top of the mountain in a lovely meadow.  We let the horses eat, ate snacks ourselves and watched to see how long it took for Sudi’s breathing to return to normal.  Sudi was very happy to share my granola bar with me.  I think we are going to be come a wonderful team.

Gel was in his glory.  I don’t know where he gets his endurance because while we were galloping, he was ahead of us, running like a fool.  He was dragging a long line (a “real” leash in case we ran into a park ranger) and I urged him on faster and faster so the line wouldn’t get stepped on.  He was still bright-eyed and lively when we returned to the parking lot.

What a great ride, a wonderful time … I told Wally that the thing I like best about riding is that I can lose myself in the horse.  I don’t think of anything other than the horse when I’m out there.  It’s so therapeutic for me.

I plan to ride with a new person on Sunday.  It’s going to be cold.  She’s an endurance rider as well.  We’ll see how that goes.

Until later …