Lulu & Ruby
So, last night was technically my last ride on Lulu and I’m actually incredibly sad about it.
Tuesday night I had a great jumping lesson with Ann – she called it “Graduation Night”. We did a few jumping courses, cantering everything. I know that this doesn’t sound too impressive, but with Lulu’s habit of rushing fences and taking big distances, it’s been great to be able to trot into jumps to keep better control of pace and to better allow me to ride her to the base of everything. On Tuesday I had to bring everything that I had learned about riding Lulu together and ride steady, cantering jump rounds and I have to say that it came off beautifully. I was able to keep her steady and balanced and at a perfect pace. She came back to me after every fence, listened to everything I asked her to do, didn’t take any huge distances – she was a total star, I was so proud of her.
Last night we had a more mellow lesson with Kelly. Everyone was feeling rather lazy and not too ambitious. We did a little jumping, but we were all pretty satisfied pretty early on. I, personally, felt that I had proved whatever I had to prove the night before and was happy to leave well enough alone at that stage. We spent the last ten minutes of the session chatting with Kelly, which is always fun – she always has great stories about the Eventing world.
Now that I’ve bought a horse and will be ending my half-lease of Lulu, I won’t be riding her regularly any more. I’m very sad, I’ve really come to love her. She’s not the easiest horse to ride, but I have learned so much with her and am now feeling like I’ve reached a place where I know how to ride her to bring the best out of her. I finally know how to ride Lulu and it’s time to say “goodbye” and start all over with a new horse. This is pretty much a new experience for me, never having owned a horse before, in my former riding life, I was very used to always riding different horses. It’s a rare thing for me to be able to build a partnership with one particular horse, and after six months, that’s what I feel like I have with Lulu, a partnership. I can only hope that my relationship with the new horse will be as happy and successful.
Speaking of the new horse … she arrived yesterday! I had had “Mackie” as a barn name in my head for her, but I wasn’t completely sold on it. I also couldn’t seem to come up with a good show name that would tie that in (not that the show name really needs to relate to the barn name, but I kind of wanted it to). I also came up with “Ruby” and waffled back and forth between the two names all morning. Finally they were here and so I ran down to the barn to meet her. There she was calmly hanging out in her paddock, not at all fussed by being in a new place (after being on a 24 hour trailer ride or whatever), nor by all the activity around her. Right away “Ruby” seemed to suit her – she kind of looks like a Ruby, so Ruby it is. I’m thinking that her show name might be “Ruby Slippers”, I think it’s kind of cute. Anyway, I ran back to the barn last night on the way to my lesson to bring her the turnout blanket that I had ordered for her (which had conveniently arrived in the mail that afternoon). I put her on cross-ties and fussed around her a bit as I fitted the sheet to her. She was a little nervous on the ties with all the barn activity, being in a new place and with everyone settling back into the Summer barn, but she calmed down nicely as I worked around her.
I’m not sure when I’m actually going to end up riding her for the first time. I have a saddle, but no bridle or girth (I’ve ordered both). I also wonder if I should ride her for the first time in a lesson. On the other hand, I’m dying to start to get to know her! I think I’m going to take a vacation day next Friday, if the weather looks like it’s going to be nice. I should have the rest of my stuff by then (I hope) and so can hack around with her. Marilyn (one of my friends from adult riding camp) said that she would trail ride with me – sounds like the perfect day.
So, I am both very excited and a little nervous for this next, new phase in my riding life. Ruby is super sweet on the ground, I just hope that we really hit it off under saddle. I also hope that I can do her justice.