April 10, 2010

Hoosier Horse Fair & Expo

Well, I didn't end up getting to ride Sprocket because the owner's son was thrown off of him earlier in the morning after a Belgian draft under saddle came cantering up behind him and spooked him.  The owner and the son spent the morning in the E.R. and she didn't feel comfortable having a catch rider on him after that happened, so a taller woman that's more familiar with him rode him.  I was bummed, but it was still a really productive day for me.  I spent most of the day either shopping (My only purchase was a nice quality pair of leather side reins with elastic doughnuts...Shae is going to rue today, mwahaha!)  or hanging out with the Heartland Welsh Club.  It turns out the woman I emailed about a Connemara pony a couple of months ago was there, which, along with Jen and Sprocket, just goes to show how small the horse world is!

Toward the end of the day, one of the Heartland ladies asked if I'd ride her 12.2hh Section A gelding just to see what he was like.  Her family is all too big for him, but they won him a pony auction five years ago and he's actually of really good quality, so they wanted to see what I thought.  When I was tacking him up, her fifteen year old daughter was chuckling and said "You're riding Hodie?  He's only been ridden like five times!  Good luck!"  Awesome, I thought, I'm going to ride a true green bean in front of hundreds of people at the Hoosier Horse Fair.  Great for my future career. 

It actually went really well, and all credit goes to my class with Shae.  I pretended he'd never been ridden before and took it calmly and slowly, since he was skittering around and generally acting nervous.  I can't blame him, there's a lot going on at the HHF.  And you know what?  I loved that little guy!  His gaits weren't at all like the jackhammer feeling I've come to associate with many smalls, and he was quick and intelligent and learned what I was asking him to do in the brief few minutes I was on his back.  I'd ride him in a heartbeat, and I might get a chance.  His owner would love to let me work with him when I'm done with Shae, and I can't say I'd mind.  If the only thing that comes out of the HHF is that I get ponies thrown at me all the time, well, that sounds like a good life to me!

The best part was that not only did he settle down, he actually came to really like me and stood quietly with me while I talked to his owner standing in his stall later on.  I liked him a lot, and I wish he was just a bit bigger.  12.2 is a normal height for me to be training, but just a little short to actually own.

That was the best networking I've done in my entire four years, and I really hope it pays off.

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