Last week I had the opportunity to do something I haven’t done in more than a decade – ride at the same time as my sister. Sure she’s with me every time I get on Luc (and has even bailed me out of a sticky situation a time or two) but since we’re currently sharing a mount, Jen and I never get the chance to be in the saddle at the same time. I don’t think Luc would appreciate us riding double. He’s big, but not that big. Thanks to the amazing generosity of our friend Suzanne, we had the opportunity to remedy that. She offered up the use of her horse, Misty, for a trail ride.
Jen gave me the choice of which horse I would prefer and while I love Luc to pieces and really enjoy riding him, you just don’t pass up the opportunity to ride a horse as lovely as Misty. A draft cross, she’s around the same size as Luc, although Jen was a little horrified when I mentioned that I think she’s a smidge narrower than he is. After all, despite what people may think, he doesn’t have an ounce of draft blood in him. Misty is also the same colour as Luc and has a temperament to die for. Gentle and well behaved, she is the epitome of a trustworthy mount. I was elated to be able to take her out on the trails, but before I could do that, I had to get past Luc.
In order to get to the field that Misty lives in, I have to cross through Luc’s paddock. He was waiting for me at the gate as he usually is. I pushed past him but he was having none of that. He trailed me to the entrance of Misty’s field, walking faster than I thought he was capable of. He would speed up and cut in front of me, blocking my way. A few times he even tried to grab the halter right out of my hand. I should have seen that move coming.
A few years ago I was bringing in another horse from the field and Luc pitched a bit of a fit. It seems he’s quite attached to his people and they’re not to pay attention to anyone but him. Can we say spoiled? During that instance he did manage to get a hold of the halter in my hand and refused to let it go. He even tried to run the other horse off when I got close to it. That earned him a quick reprimand, which was enough for him to give me the space I needed to get the other horse out of the field. I should point out that he only does this with me. He has no problem with other people passing through or getting their horses out of the field.
This time I managed to keep the halter out of Luc’s mouth and bribe him with a few treats to let me pass. I walked up to Misty in her field and she turned around and gave me a look that said ‘Who the hell are you and what do you want?’ I bribed her with a few treats too and then she didn’t care that she had no clue who I was and was quite happy to follow me anywhere. I haltered her up and successfully made it back past Luc.
She was a doll to tack up and stood rock solid while I got on, a nice change from Luc who on occasion still likes to do a little ‘are you sure you want to get on’ dance. Jen and I rode out into the field together, and both horses were great. We walked, trotted and cantered in the wide-open space. When we got back to the barn I was beaming, smiling from ear to ear. I can’t wait to get back out into the field on Luc. He really proved that he can be sane and sensible on a trail ride, and the confidence Misty gave me has given me new courage to try with him.
I gave Misty a thorough grooming and a quick bath to make her sparkle. Well sparkle as much as it’s possible for a grey to. My motto is always leave everything you borrow in better condition than you found it in, including the horse. That also extends to the tack, which I meticulously cleaned, something I never do for Jen. She’s left to clean her own tack (bad of me, I know!), and groom and tack up her own horse, even though I’m the one riding. Looks like I’m a little bit spoiled too!
Thank you again to Suzanne for letting me borrow Misty. I had a fantastic time on her. If she ever goes missing, you’ll know where!