Every horse is a different ride and that ride can differ, even quite a bit, from the way we show up to each other on the ground. I pretty much let go of riding during the heat of these Florida summers; yet, in spite of that time gap, I am never uncertain about what I will feel when I get back on each horse. Beamer is steady, a little slow to start, but eager to end with a flourish. Auggie wants to show me what he can do, not be made. Loosa, is quick, a touch anxious, and finds going easier than being still. I try to find a way to say yes to the go, so he can find his own way to standing still. That’s our deal.
So, I wouldn’t call Loosa a wee little child’s ride; not unsafe, just a bit too much to ask of him maybe? I was protective, but wrong. This weekend, a joyful little girl marched out into the field with me where Loosa separated himself from the herd, nuzzled up to her, and said “hey, kid, you and I should go for a ride”. He was kind and gentle with her. Lowered head, soft eye and lips, he let her bounce and show her excitement about riding him without a quiver of concern. He walked slowly, trotted carefully, and willingly took her directions for turning. I just held the rope.
The instinct to know that caution and protective barriers are unnecessary, that wholehearted kindness is the answer. I am trying to learn that. From a horse.