Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Today Hailey officially past the point of no return...

So sometimes the fun of teaching is in reliving "firsts" through your students.  

Hailey was at the barn all day helping out (well past the wonderful-working-student requirements :) so we went for a fun ride when I was done teaching.  Under the 'power hack' category -- officially because it was Athena's conditioning day but really because it was  fun.   Gorgeous sunny day, perfect temperature, just the right time to go riding. Even better when you have good company with you.

Even better still when I asked Athena for her nice lovely canter and look back to see the giant grin on Hailey's face as Sienna's keeping up easily :)  Kinda wish I'd had my camera.

So we'd warmed up and were playing down on the plateau and I suggested she let Sienna go a bit -- which she did and came back with a big grin on her face.  All good.   But was really only a hand-gallop if that.  Still a big step up from galloping her pony (which she only just did for the first time a couple weeks ago), but still not *really* galloping.  Those who've done it, know the difference.  And Si has one of the nicest gallops I've ever sat on :)

But ok.  After Athena's break, we went back up and did another trot loop; all good except for minor technical difficulties when my stirrup buckle broke.  Buckle?  Really?  Who does that happen to?  Sheesh.   I *thought* the stirrup had just slipped off the stirrup bar, but no, sadly it was not such an easy fix.   So we detoured our loop by the paddocks and I dropped off both stirrups and we kept going.  Fortunately it was near the end of Athena's schedule so no need for endless 2-pt with no stirrups.  Awwww >;-P   Hack back down to the plateau and tell Hailey she could go for another gallop if she wanted.  hahaha yeah right.  If.  She was gone in a heartbeat and this time got an actual gallop.  Sweet.  And came back grinning ear to ear.   Kinda made me smile just to watch.

So we let the horses graze for a bit  (funny, Athena doesn't have any problems eating with the bit in any more :) - but you see, I know my horses fairly well, and I knew Sienna had the game down.  And I knew Hailey didn't know.  *insert coach laugh here*  "Want to go once more?" Hailey's eyes just lit up -- I think she was pretty sure we were done so picked Si up before I could change my mind.  "Bridge your reins and just let her go."   Ever ridden a race horse before?  Even a failed one?  Know what happens when you bridge your reins and let them go?  hahaha well for Si it takes about a stride and  a half to settle into a lovely galloping rhythm.   Which got a great laugh from her pilot.   But the real fun was when they turned around at the other end to come home.  And Si shifted into gear.  hahaha  All I hear from the far end of the plateau was "HOLY S...." well - it's a pg rated blog - you can fill in the blanks :)   But it was all excitement - nothing that even vaguely resembled hesitation or fear *g*   Kid's going to be a highly decent eventer :)

Do you remember the first time you galloped so fast you couldn't see?   Do you remember the adrenaline rush of being just *slightly* (that's the story we're sticking to) out of control and unconsciously deciding to trust your horse and enjoy every second of it?  And perhaps just a little bit of your brain wondering if you'd  stop before you ran out of space?  And the excited part telling the worried part to shut up and enjoy the ride?  That was what I saw today.  hahaha in this case stopping was not such a worry since Si wasn't likely to leave Athena without being explicitly told to -- but the first time *I* did it, we could've gone for a very long way >;-P   Ok, maybe I wasn't always the smartest cookie -- but I had a lot of fun.  Still do :)

So yeah - the look on her face brought back so many memories of good times nearly forgotten - and pretty much made my day.   Not sure how I'm ever going to get her back in the dressage ring now...  hahaha but that's a challenge for another day >;-P

And judging from the comments on my FB status, I'm not the only one it brings back fun memories for :)

All I can say to Hailey is -- for the days when it's cold and rainy and miserable and you get bucked off in a pile of manure and you're wondering why any idiot would ever subject themselves to such insanity, remember today.  And you'll know.


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