that elusive perfect ride

All riders aspire to that perfect ride

If you are a Horse Junkie, then my guess is that like all of us, you strive for the perfect ride. We work hard and practice movements hoping that one day, everything will go right and we will know what it feels like to be Steffen Peters riding Ravel or Eric Lamaze riding Hickstead. Well after 7+ years of owning Timmy, I finally had THAT ride!!

It started on a cool morning that was just cold enough to be invigorating but warm enough to lightly layer. I arrived at the barn early and got Timmy out of his stall. His nicker told me he was happy to see me and ready to work. He stood quietly in the wash stall as I tacked him up. The tack was newly cleaned and sparkling. He looked so handsome and I somehow KNEW today would be different.

As I took Timmy outside to the mounting block, I could see his breath, rhythmic and steady in the cold air. We walked into the arena and I felt like I was at Rolex. While there were no applauding crowds, it felt like there should have been. Timmy stood tall and majestic as if acknowledging the spectators. He moved off into a very energetic walk. My trainer arrived when his warm up was done and the work began. Timmy was forward and supple. He could bend around my inside leg like a piece of wire. My legs were long and firm as I went from a walk to a lovely forward trot. His frame was perfect and he worked over his back like never before. With each circle he improved. His serpentines were beautiful, changing bend in an effortless fashion. He felt so light in my hands that I couldn’t believe that I was actually making all this happen!! Instead of hearing things like “halt halt NOW”, “more bend in the corner” and “rounder” from my trainer, all she could say was “yes”, “that’s it”, “LOVELY”. I wanted that lesson to go on forever.

Next it was time for some canter work and while I felt the euphoria would now come to a crashing end, miracles happened. I asked for the canter and Timmy transitioned smoothly and effortlessly. I almost held my breath as each canter step was controlled and light. We were perfectly in sync at that moment and it felt like we could do this forever. For 45 minutes, we could do no wrong. I felt such power and thrust, yet at the same time we were dancing “Swan Lake”. My trainer was now totally silent, just taking in the moment. I knew today was a historic one for me. It may not have been a Grand Prix test, but if we never got there, I would now be okay with that. As Timmy transitioned back to the walk, he KNEW he had done well. I was grinning ear to ear with tears in my eyes. Then it happened…..



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