Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Surprise Request

The other night I took Starlight for a ride up the pipeline.  It was later than when I usually ride, since we had been occupied with hay baling until about 8.  She seemed a little worried that she might get left out of nightly turnout, being up on the hill with me instead of in the paddock with the others.  Never mind that the others wouldn’t be getting out to the grass unless I was there to open the gate, so she was safe.

Starlight's pretty head.
The last part of the ride took us over the freshly cut and baled hay field, so it was a wide-open path up the hill.  We were trotting and then I prepared her for a transition and said, “Canter!”

Both her pointy black ears flicked back at me, listening intently, as if she were thinking, “Did you just SAY that?” I had asked her for this only once before. 

“Canter,” I said again, and she obliged.  It was the sweetest,  lightest little canter up the hill, effortless for this pony, not too fast.  I’m used to Hudson’s canter, which is a big, heavy effort and surprisingly quick.  I’m usually trying to slow that big ol’ half-drafter down when she gets a head of steam going.  But Starlight’s was easy and slow, just a nice canter.

My husband was disconnecting the baler from the tractor, and he looked up with a worried face.  He saw my big grin as we cantered toward him, then went back to his equipment when we gracefully stopped and I dismounted. 
Starlight and Stormkite trying to see me over Hudson's formidable form.
He confessed later that he had about had a heart attack when he heard the fast hoof beats and was very relieved to see that I was still on board and not lying in the woods somewhere, after being dumped by a runaway pony.    

Now I ask you, why such little faith?
Not horse-related, but can you believe how cute these peepers are?
OK, OK.  I admit, he has scraped me up a few times, but, sheesh, it has been at least a month!