I am so amazed with my family and their horses (or the horses they rented or borrowed) this past weekend. Everyone handled them in any situation that came up and we were all respectful when any rider needed some help, or a moment to school their horse through a minor issue. After all, it's about making sure the horses are exhibiting proper behavior, the rides are safe, and the riders are comfortable- and having fun! However, after watching my mom with her horse Dusty this past week, I have to say that I am especially proud of her. If there was a "Most Improved" award, I would bestow it upon her. Especially in lieu of her very recent fall from her Copper Pony, which you can read about here.
My mom has only been riding horses for a couple of years. Your first fall or toss off of your horse can really shake your confidence, as I have read about in various blogs and witnessed firsthand with my sister. My mom had to rush to the ER to get stitches in her lip and had some sore muscles and big bruises, but she climbed back on Dusty the next morning and rode that pony on a 2 hour trail ride, on steep wooded trails she'd never been on before! It wasn't easy for her, it took guts, and admittedly, she was rather anxious. But she got back in the saddle, leaped over that first hurdle, and everything was fine.
During our family trail course and rodeo, my mom's pony did such a good job for her. He did what she wanted him to do, he didn't shake his head or fuss with his bit, he walked calmly on the trails and was overall a steady Eddy. I don't think she could have asked for a better weekend from her Dusty. I'd say it was a huge confidence booster for them both. I think as a team, they've really matured in the past year. It takes time to get to know a horse, time to learn to ride them, and, depending on the horse's personality, time for them to learn to respect you. What I love about the Copper Pony is that my mom will always grow and learn from him. He is just enough of a challenge for her, and being as smart as he is, I think he always will be. He is not a dud, or a babysitter, by any means. He is a horse, not an over-sized house pet, and he will sometimes react unexpectedly in situations, as horses do- as my mom learned from the day of her fall. But overall, he is a good, safe horse, and, as my cousin Saddle Mountain Rider calls him- "Trusty Dusty."
Great job mom, it was nice to see you and Dusty in your element this year and really grow together as a team!
I'll share more exciting snippets of our family trip this week as I get my pictures downloaded and edited, as will the rest of my family on their blogs, so be sure to check them out too!