I sneaked in a brief ride Friday night, just before it was too dark to see. Due to the lateness, I decided to ride in the "ring" (a mowed grassy area behind the barn). The session started off poorly--deer by the pond. Harley wouldn't concentrate on anything except the deer. One would not leave, but stood at the forest edge, watching us. Great, an ungulate audience! Then two more flashed their tails which spooked Harley again. It was not a great session, but by the end, he gave up trying to wheel for home and listened to my leg (somewhat). Our circles were more like squares!
|Harley after his first 20 mile ride in June 2011|
(American Endurance Ride Conference) handbook. Under the chapter regarding horse selection, specifically personality, we decided Harley must have read this part:"If the horse trots out in hand to your satisfaction, the next move is to take him for a spin,..." Yup, Harley showed us his spin moves right from the start! Drop that shoulder and whirl! We also chuckled over this:
"Some people like a relaxed, laid-back sort of fellow, while others prefer one that is more “ready.” Most endurance riders don’t consider a lazy horse much fun to ride, but on the other hand, a very tense horse that is on the borderline of being out of control, even in a nonthreatening situation, is likely to come unglued in a real race."
Poor Halawa Moon, he's out of the running as a race horse, not well-schooled over fences (yet), and doesn't seem to measure up as an endurance horse. But he's ours, I love him, for all his quirks (even those that have sent me to the hospital--see June 28th entry), and he's enjoying a happy life with the gang. Harley has only been trail riding a year and a half, and he's made a lot of progress. He may not be a candidate for the Tevis Cup, but I'm game to take him out there, even alone. And maybe next year, if John rides Nina, I'll ride him in next year's local S.M.A.R.T. ride.