Monday, February 19, 2018

It’s been a Year

….And this is the next instalment of why my pony is still the bestest pony ever...

Hanging with his bud

- Hanging with his best buddy -

The last time I posted on this blog, we had gone on an amazing trail ride, and had the best fun. So what did we get up to the rest of the year of 2017?

Well, I packed up the family and we moved overseas to Thailand.

Yeah, you did read that correctly!

We left on the 24th of April 2017, and I was going to write more about it while we were over there, but I got pretty sick due to not being able to access my treatments for my hypothyroidism - oh hey, I haven't written about that either! - so it never really happened.

All the cute

The short story is: I didn't want to sell Copper. I've tried to do that before, when I had both Joey and Copper. (remember Joey? He broke my elbow in four places... But he was smart and cute when he wasn't being a brat)

Back then I had had a lot of interest in Copper, and on paper he sounds like an ammy rider's dream. The problem is, he is in every way except under saddle.

He's got impeccable ground manners, he is an excellent doer, he's got rock solid feet, he travels like a dream, and he's quiet and reliable. He is brilliant no matter how long you throw him out in the paddock for, he will come back to you and try whatever you ask of him. He doesn't break himself very often, and rarely needs a vet.

But he's not an easy ride. He is gentle, and can't buck, won't rear. But he is sensitive. He will take off on you if you ride hanging on to his mouth.

 Who me?


It's funny how many people get on him and can't ride him for nuts. And yes, there was this one time that a lady tried him out and he came so close to bolting on her. She was literally balancing herself on his mouth right from the beginning. He hadn’t even gone two steps before he started to panic. I had to teach her how to do an emergency one rein stop right then and there.

The downside is he is also nowhere near educated enough for an experienced rider to take him on. He'd need a super special home and to be honest, I really just couldn't bear the thought of him going somewhere that wouldn't love him for what he is - an honest horse, who is willing to show up do whatever you ask (within reason of course!).

So that left me with a huge dilemma! What to do with Copper while we spend two years or so in South East Asia?

Thankfully after a lot of agonizing, I found an amazing agistment/spelling place that would take him under unusual circumstances, i.e. - his owner is going away overseas and won't be able to check up on him at all!

So we moved him out Yass way. It's an hour out of Canberra, in the middle of nowhere, but it's cheap, and he has taken to the change like a total champ!

I finally got to go out and see him on the weekend, and I was sooooo happy when I saw how good he was looking.

Conformation shot: Feb, 2018.

- Just look at those muscles tho!! He looks so, so good! -

He has been a bit weak and untoned since his bout of stringhalt in 2016 - he lost so much muscle on his hind quarters, particularly around his gaskins. They literally withered away with muscle atrophy.

But I swear he looks better than he ever has - except for the time I was riding him regularly and we had a great lesson program, his topline was perfect then... But anyway, right now, despite not being touched for a year, he looks so good.

He doesn't have that lovely topline, but he doesn't look like a pregnant land whale, so I am incredibly chuffed to see how well he has done.

And of course, I had to ride him!

I started first with a little bit of groundwork to see what he remembered (all of it – clever boy!) and to gauge what kind of mood he was in - willing to try!

So I hopped on bareback and toodled around the arena. He felt strong and well shaped underneath me, but stiff. Oh, so very stiff! We had to remember that yes sideways *IS* possible and you can move one foot over at a time. Hah!

Big grins

- Best Pony. Happy Face. -

That's to be expected, and even though he wasn't anywhere as responsive as he normally is, I couldn't stop grinning. Man, I love that horse.

We even did a bit of trotting on a 20m circle, and finished the ride off after about twenty or so minutes. Not a long ride, but so satisfactory.

I can't tell you how good it's been to be home, but it’s been made even better seeing Copper again.

If it was any other horse I wouldn’t be able to do this with him. I just wouldn’t. There’d be no point as the horse would either break themselves in the paddock, or need extra feed, or go mental being left to run wild for that long. But it’s Copper. There’s no way around it, he’s special.

He takes it all in his stride and is still a brilliant horse!

The difficulties of taking selfies with your horse. Still smiling though

- The difficulties of taking selfies with your horse’s giant mug. Still smiling though!! -

I hope to visit him at least once more before we fly back to Thailand. It's a long way out to see him, but it's so worth it.

I also have to make sure his teeth and feet checked over before I leave so that gives me a good reason to get out there, and you better believe I can't wait to ride him again.

ACS_0074

- It surprised me to see Copper bossing about the ponies! He is usually the lowest man in the herd, so this was interesting to me. Guess he figured out that he’s bigger then they are! -


See ya,

Bonita

2 comments:

  1. WOW Thailand for 2 years! My bf wants to go for 3 months and I'm dragging my feet, feels like such a long time.

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    Replies
    1. Three months sounds like a long time, but given how crazy fast this year has sped by, you might be surprised how dang quickly it would go!! :O

      Would it help if you knew there were horses there? ;) There's actually a ton of riding stables around Chiang Mai (where we are situated) so if you are planning on going up north that could be something fun. :)

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