Monday, October 11, 2021

Why This Works

 Had someone asked me a year ago if I thought I'd ever not only own, but actually ride, two riding horses at the same time, I'd have laughed and said it wasn't possible. I mean, I barely ride one horse enough to keep him sane and in a shape other than morbidly obese. How could I ever think I'd be able to find the time to ride two horses?

I would have been wrong, but only because I ended up with the World's Best Baby Racehorse as the second horse. Honestly, I'm not sure I could/would make it work with any other combination of horses. These two work perfectly because they are polar opposites of each other. Two Eeyores or even two Hamiltons wouldn't work out for me. Well, two Eeyores in the same place would probably make the Universe implode so we won't even think about that. 

How we found out the solar charger on the fence crapped out. 

Last night I hopped on Hamilton first to try out a new to us saddle. Someday I'll have all four saddles situated perfectly, but for now at least I have half the equation sorted. I think. Maybe. We will see. Hamilton HATES the arena. He sees no point whatsoever in going around the same area multiple times. He does not enjoy working on figures or figuring out puzzles. He abhors ground poles and don't even think about an actual jump. He will do it and he does it as beautifully as he does everything. But it is very, very obvious he does not enjoy the work. I probably need both a crop and spurs to ride him effectively in the arena. He tends to go around nicely in whatever gait I've coerced out of him (holy crap though I could canter him all day long it is so so so wonderful) and then stop politely while grunting about how hard the last 2 minutes of his life were. 

I've been searching high a low for this particular saddle and even ordered a new one only to be told it was back ordered until at least December. I finally snagged one on an endurance page. It fits him very well. 

I ride him with a LOT of leg, clucking, laughter and giggles. He makes my heart soar even when arguing that he will not die of exhaustion after a single trot lap of the arena. 

Get him out of the arena though and that horse will go for days. He loves to explore, he loves to look at new things. His stride is forward, his ears up and he never tires. There is a difference in just riding in the pasture versus the arena. A completely different horse. 

He looks really good in a dressage style saddle. Now for me to figure out how on earth to ride in it. I've ridden in western, Australian, endurance and jump saddles but not a true dressage saddle. I needed to let me stirrups out a lot. 

Then there is Eeyore. After I was done laughing my way through 20 minutes of w/t/c with Hamilton, I set up a single jump and hopped on my Pocket Rocket. Where I have to constantly urge Hamilton to move at all, I'm fighting Eeyore to slow down - where's the fire? Eeyore ADORES jumping. I haven't jumped him over anything since May and he tackled that jump like he hasn't missed a beat. The best part of jumping Eeyore is that he loves it so much he doesn't care how badly I ride him to or away from it. Long spot? Fine. Stuff him the next time? Ok. He will always say yes with happy ears. 

During one of Hamilton's "breaks" when he stopped moving, sighed and then grunted like "wasn't that enough boring arena work yet?"

I spent 20 minutes having the time of my life doing a figure 8 over my single vertical. 

And that folks is how having two riding horses works in my life. I can meander along with Hamilton enjoying the freedom of the trail and pasture or a floating ride in the arena feeling safe and like I'm not working at all and then hop on Eeyore and blast around and over jumps. My plan is to focus on jumping with Eeyore with maybe a return to lessons and hitting some local schooling shows. Then I will focus on endurance with Hamilton with a hope to hit our first LD in the spring and maybe, just maybe if the stars align make it to Decade Team with him in 2032.

Purchased this photo from the Scotsgrove Hunter Pace

With two horses having polar opposite riding styles, preferences and interests I can ride one and then the other without having to try to do the exact same things with both. I can ride Eeyore first and spend the time working on bend, relaxation, slowing the poop down, and jumping. Then I can tack up Hamilton and work on adding energy and steering or decide screw the arena and hit the pasture or trailer out. Knowing myself I don't think I could handle having two jumping horses or two trail horses. I don't have the time, energy or motivation to work them both the same way or deal with the same issues.

I never thought this would work out but it is and I am loving it.


  1. Having multiple horses to ride is always a logistics problem, but it sounds like you have everything worked out!

    1. I don't think I have a single thing in my entire life that is all worked out LOL!!! I'm the most disorganized person I know, but the two of them are balancing out well for the moment and I am taking full advantage of it while it lasts. Who knows what 6 months or a year from now will look like.

  2. I relate to this so much. I sometimes wish I could combine Booger and Lucy into one horse because I feel like it would be better to ride one with more consistency than I can give two. BUT the reason it works for me is because they excel at different things.