Tonight, I had the best ride on Honey. I’d like to say she’s a pony, but that’s only the case for so long. Tonight I measured her at 14.1 hands high, almost 14.2–the cutoff for becoming a horse. Aww. The other questionable aspect of Honey is her hair. She is incredibly wooly, round and furry, adorable and cuddly–she reminds me of a Winnie the Pooh bear, so I call her “Honey Bear.” She’s become even more furry of late. I’ve kept her blankets off for the most part, so her hair has increased exponentially.
As I was finishing my ride, my lesson student arrived. She was shocked about the way I was riding. Not because I was doing something crazy, but because I was bareback. Bareback. Apparently at previous barns this was not a usual occurance. I was surprised at her surprise. It’s second nature to me to ride bareback, so I just climb aboard whenever I feel like it. Melody, and (when I owned her) Savannah were used to me climbing aboard with or without a saddle. Sometimes we’d go bareback, sometimes sidesaddle, sometimes western, dressage, or close-contact jumping. My horses never knew what to expect, and I prefer it that way. I think versatility is the ultimate gift you can give your horse. There are so many times that dressage moves can be useful in regular life. Other times western skills are important. I can ride Melody with a single rein, since she knows how to western and direct rein both.
In any case, I had a fantastic ride on Honey, and I’m thrilled with how far we’ve come. She’s easily giving in to the bit with the slightest of movements, and she’s chewing and licking constantly throughout our ride. She’s half-passing and side passing like a champ, and now we’ve gotten to the point that it’s not hard to get her to reverse on the haunches and stop on a dime. She’s so much fun. I’m thrilled with her.