M has been teaching lessons at another barn on Tuesdays, and I decided to schedule one today to check out the place. It's in Fenton, and it's a Saddlebred barn; it has a long dirt aisle, so you can ride up and down it, with a bullpen at one end. The arena is also long and narrow, the better to get those temperamental steeds racking.
There is a heated office, a real treat in the winter! There's an observation room, and you can ride from the arena through a barn door to the outdoor arena.
I was actually scheduled to ride two horses today! The first, Bailey, is a lesson horse they are evaluating for possible purchase. M asked if she should warm him up first, and I said I would just hop on. D agreed. M warned me that Bailey likes to go, and that if I lock on the bridle, he gets hot. Sounded like Pepper.
Up I swung onto the shaggy beast. Off he took, with me trying to slow him down. My first hint of trouble was when he kept spinning out, and then the naughty little piece of sh$t dropped his head, and took off cantering, bucking along the rail.
Bailey is 17, so his bucking button is a little rusty. I stayed in the saddle, but I lost a stirrup. M told me to get off, she was going to remind him of his manners. She got on, grabbed a handful of mane, and tried to re-educate the ignorant old fool. Bailey wouldn't have any of it, and he kept bucking with her. D told her to get off and put him away; he wasn't going to be any use today. It was too bad, as when she did get him trotting along the rail, he looked really cute! Alas, he is going home tomorrow.
Then I got Summer ready. I have ridden Summer before, and she's fine as long as you keep your legs out of her sides. She's sensitive, don't you know. D warmed her up, and it's a good thing, because she's terrified of one of the walls (the entire 200 feet of it), and she did not behave very well, either. She's a little more sensible, and there was no outright defiant behavior, so she didn't even get a swat with the riding crop. When I pointed out that if it had been Blondie, she would had been cracked a few times, he told me that Summer is delicate. Pleeze! So is my little girl!
Summer proved to be a challenging ride, as she continued to freak out any time we went down the "scary" rail. She would bow her body away from the wall and start racking until I could calm her down enough to trot again. M and D pointed out that I will be ready to rack Blondie now. Wheee!
Summer is a 10 year old's walk/trot horse, and when I finally got off, I wondered again how Audie, who weighs about 60 pounds, can ride her. D said she's not usually this bad, and she hasn't been out of her stall in two days with Christmas. They always do that to me! Make me ride the nutty, stall bound idiot horses! M said that I had a good ride, I got Summer looking good on the rail, and I even stuck on Bailey and hauled his head back so he couldn't take off bucking again. I just wanted to go home and take a nap!!