Monday, February 16, 2015

A horse of a different color

This is definitely not Fawkes

My good friend was out of town for the weekend and let me ride her Shire/TB cross, Tonka.  He is an eventer who has been there, done that, and is phased by almost nothing.  In other words, a nice change for me so I can focus on myself instead of the horse.

He was a tad bit "up" for our lesson :)
 First was the adjustment to a 17.2 hand horse.  Or something like that, he is tall.  Tacking up involved some stretching exercises.  When posting his trot, I felt like I had time to react between strides because there was actual air time.  That took a little while to get used to.  His canter is lovely and just so adjustable.   He is very honest and I had to de-Fawkes my brain.  For example, since Fawkes isn't very response to the right leg yet, I clearly overemphasize that aid.  Sweet Tonka was all, ok, I will move sideways quickly!  Whoops, better soften that up.  He is also easier to straighten so I was able to apply what Fawkes and I have been working on.

Jumping is very exciting even tiny, tiny things
 We only jumped small, but it was good.  I will likely borrow him for future jumping lessons if my friend is cool with it and I don't want to use his legs up on me.  I don't need a ton of height, I just need the ability to work on my body without worrying if the horse is going to jump.

The first time or too he didn't bother to jump the tiny cross rail in and out exercise.  But as he warmed up he got more excited and once even tried to charge in.  Silly boy.  The next time through I focused more on holding him to the trot and he settled back down.  Some more photos of the lesson below.

This is a pole.  Tonka takes his job seriously.

My poor husband hates both the indoor and taking photos of tiny jumps.  But I think he did pretty well.  And in exciting news, I generally think my equitation was solid.  I mean, it should be over this level of stuff but I think my confidence had a long way to come back from this summer.  And I have to work hard not to jump ahead no matter the height so this is progress for me.

It was also really fun to get on a horse that has some spirit but is experienced.  Tonka will make you ride but if I make small mistakes it won't mess him up and that makes it easier for me to relax.  Hopefully we will be able to do some more of these.

I also rode the red beast, and he was very good too.  But I think I will save that for another day, I hate using up all my pictures at once!


  1. Tonka is beautiful! Glad you got to have fun on a more experienced horse, that can be such a blast!

  2. Oh he's adorable!! I love drafty crosses. Glad to hear you had a such a good ride on him.

  3. Thanks all, he is both a looker and a gentleman :)