Friday, December 4, 2009

Thoroughbred power!

She didn't want to work. But that was okay--I didn't, either. Yet I wanted more.

Content with trotting on a long rein, she again asked if we could transition down to a trot. Not yet, Limerick. I squeezed the reins in my hands and she gave me more power. Her canter was strong and effortless, easy to sit.

Just like Tuesday's ride, I was again reminded of my first few rides on her nearly 14 years ago.

I softened my grip on the reins and she slowed. Trot now? Not yet, Limerick. I squeezed the reins again and she gave me even more power. Another gear up, longer strides. The short side of the arena approached quickly.

She laid it out for me--I have more power, I can go faster, and here... She rocketed out of the short side of the arena, faster and faster. It was like being behind the wheel of a sports car. As she cantered, I sensed that despite the strength behind her stride, we had not yet touched the bottom of her reservoir.

I lightened my grip of the reins by a feather and immediately she dropped down to a long fast trot. I let the reins slide through my hands to the buckle and her neck lengthened, her nose reaching down eagerly.

I knew the wind howled about outside...yet she was not bothered. Is it the ear puffs? The quarter sheet? The pure bliss I had in being on her back?

The vet diagnosed Limerick with mild cataracts in her left eye. While Lim can still see out of that eye, her vision is a bit altered. Due to her sensitive nature, she is reacting to this more strongly than you'd expect your average horse to. I understand perfectly...and this is where the sheepskin ear puffs come in.

With them in, she can hear but sounds that normally make her paranoid and anxious during a ride are muffled or unheard. These ear puffs, these $4.95 pieces of equipment, have been more of a blessing to us than I ever expected...I wish I had found them sooner.

These, combined with the unusual fluidity of her stride as of late (you guessed it--she's consuming all her supplements now!) have made for some wonderful rides.

At the start of this year I had some long-term plans. One of them included showing Limerick. I haven't quite abandoned those plans, but it's fair to say that they are on the back-burner for now. We're just enjoying our rides...we aren't working. I know Limerick could churn out a blue-ribbon Green As Grass test if I asked but I don't feel like asking, and I know she doesn't feel like doing it.

That's just fine. Enjoy the moment.

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