Friday, January 7, 2011

First Ride of the New Year

Yesterday I was off work early (as happens every 2 weeks) and because the weather was FINALLY nice, decided I HAD to go visit MoonSox. I've unofficially owned him for 2 weeks (today), and hadn't been out to visit him. Where's the fun in owning a horse you never get to see? And I had to let him know that he's all mine!

The drive from work ate up 45 minutes, which sucks when you live in a province that's cold and dark for 3/4 of the day. Okay, cold for 4/4 of the day, but dark for 3/4. The sun sets at 5:00, which means that twilight is about 4:30. Which meant that showing up at the barn at 3:45 didn't leave a lot of light. Sadly, the place where Moon is kept does not have an indoor arena, nor does it have any lighting over the outdoor rings.

Moon didn't seem overjoyed to see me (not that I expected him to be, but a girl can keep her childhood fantasies), so I slipped on the beautiful leather halter I had polished up for him. I bought it a number of years ago at a tack sale, and put a lot of elbow grease into shining the silver accents and polishing it back to supple. It fit him beautifully, and while I didn't expect brown to look too good against his brown fur, he actually look awesome in it.

I didn't have a lead rope (didn't have a key to the tackroom yet), so I lead him into the roundpen...only to find that the other horses had found the carrots hidden in my helmet bag and eatten half of them. Dang it.

I took some pics of my new boy in his fancy halter, and then much to my surprise found that he would free-lunge in the round pen. This was particularly cool because I could NOT for the life of me get him to lunge in the round pen on a longe line this summer. He would just walk in towards me in the middle of the pen and stand there looking all meek and sad. : P It was great to know that off a line he would move out freely and with reasonable response to voice commands and hand gestures. My plan now is to keep working off a lead (since I know he CAN do this) and slowly add in my lunge whip and eventually the lead line and cavesson. This would allow me to start working him in the bigger ring on larger circles and over jumps (without a rider to help him work on his gymnastic ability without being encumbered by my sloppy position : P ).

We did some bareback riding around the ring afterwards (just to warm up my backside) and then I stopped to open the corral gates while the farm owner moved from fresh hay for the horses. And came back to find that Moon had found the last of the carrots in my helmet bag and gobbled them all up!

I grabbed a hoof pick and a brush from the tack room (M had opened it for me) and spent a little while brushing Moon out. By this point, the snow was falling gentle, creating a fluffy blanket on his back. There was something most serene about puffy snowflakes in setting sunlight, with the gentle smell of pony and you groom your very own horse.

And extra special when you come out of the tack room after letting him out with the other horses to eat his dinner, and find that he's waiting there at the gate for you... : )

Oh, and I *tried* to measure Mr. Moon for a blanket, but depending on his big belly gained an extra 4 inches...he's either a 72" or a 76".

I also tried to measure his height again, and got him at 15 - 15.2hh. Polo pony size. ; )

I sent an email out to his previous owners to see if they could give me some more background on him, since I only know he was bought based on an add in Beausejour because 'he had such a pretty face' : )

Hopefully I'll get out to see him again soon!...and that my winter riding breeches come in from Greenhawk!

P.S. If you want inexpensive but good quality horse tack, try Pleasant Ridge Saddlery. They have a webpage, and are about $10 to ship to Manitoba (and most other provinces). Except for the occassional cheap item made of cheap leather (no surprise), their stuff is of excellent quality, comprable to Greenhawk/AppleSaddlery and WAY less expensive! My Blackburn Saddle is still doing amazingly well, and their halters are the best price I've found!

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