So I hung it on the tack rack by the cross-ties instead, expecting W to pass by it a few times without noticing.
Man, was I wrong. As soon as she walked in and turned the corner, she yelled "Oh my gawd!" and went running over to it, pony still in hand. I got a hug and much appreciation, and I could tell that it was about to bring tears to her eyes. I know the feeling. There's something about a beautiful plaque proclaiming your best friend your very own that makes your heart swell. I was thrilled that she loved it so much.
It's now hanging in front of Royal's stall, looking just fabulous. And now I can't wait to start working on the next set!
After we finished discussing artistic talent (I was trying to convince W that her horses should start doing those 'animal paintings' like people sell made by monkey's or parrots), it was off to my lesson.
Moon remained pretty stiff to the left, though 'pretty stiff' today is a far cry from what it was 5 months ago. W encouraged me to out-stubborn him when he decided to lift his nose to the sky to avoid having to bend that way, by simple continuing to ask for a bend and lifting a bit with the outside rein to draw him back onto the circle. Surprise, surprise he would eventually concede, drop his head and we'd carry on. Until he'd decide again it was just too hard. He's a stubborn monkey : )
Our 10 m circles, which are meant to lead to our canter work and improve my sitting trot are improving in leaps and bounds. W reminded me that only last week I was going on and on about how great it is to have a horse that improves so visibly. Which means that there's gonna be some pretty ugly moments to start. Yesterday those ugly moments were starting to fade and I actually felt comfortable at times. Added in some sitting straight-aways and was shocked to see that I wasn't bouncing! I'm certainly no pro and Moon'er still struggles to maintain the 10m circles perfectly, but they're really coming along. And I don't doubt that as we continue to practice it'll just keep getting better.
W commented about him looking amazing out in the field that morning, cantering around the paddock in beautiful form. Everyone at the barn has come to discover for a rather unassuming horse, he's a TOTAL flirt. The INSTANT a mare is around he's only got eyes for her and is trying out his finest moves to get her attention. He's known for rubbing his face against other mare's when they pass by the fenceline or casually grooming them. Even when they DO try to rip his face off...
It's beyond cute. He's a little stud boy. Yesterday someone called him gorgeous. I almost started laughing. Um, Moon'er? They went on about his lovely TB features, and W chimed in that he looks more warmblood then QH when moving around his paddock. I proclaimed them both crazy. Moon'er will ALWAYS be in my eyes, that horse I first saw at T's. Dipped back, big ol'hay belly, quiet and kind eye and a little bit of stiff sassy resistance. When people point out his growing topline, easily traceable muscle lines, filled hindquarters and elegant movement, I have to take a step back and realize he's not the horse I spent less then a slaughter-house price on. He's a pretty fine specimen of horse even if he'll always just be my tubby little pasture buddy. He stole my heart not with his looks or moves, but with his wonderfully "Moon'er"-like personality. I don't need him to be anything more then that to keep loving him.
Which saddens me. Here's a horse that's fabulous. Inside and out. I'm not saying he's perfect, I'd be the last to make that proclamation. But he's still an amazing horse, even removing my bias. He's well-bred, relatively attractive, hardy and progressing well through his training. By next fall, I think he'll be a skilled riding horse with some show hours under his belt, hopefully to training level. A horse probably worth 3 or 4 times what I paid for him. Thankfully he was never at risk of going to slaughter (bless T's heart), but his last owner before her called him 'uncontrollable'. If it wasn't for T, I would suspect he would have bounced from home to home and perhaps wound up on someone's dinner plate or craft project.
WHY are so many awesome horses lost this way?! I just wish people wouldn't discount a horse because he's less then perfect at first glance. You'll be amazed what they can grow into.
And every one of them deserves their own little stall plaque, pronouncing the never ending love of their forever owner.