There is a new horse in my life!
His name is Taz, and he's a 1996 Quarter Horse gelding. One of the boarders at my barn is heading to Oregon for the summer (lucky!) and wanted his horse to be exercised while he was gone. I've managed to work out a partial lease on Taz from June to August. While it will be a little rough on my budget, I think it will be extremely beneficial to me to have a horse to ride this summer. It will help me get in shape for riding Halo, and I will also be able to pony her on trails myself so that the barn owner doesn't always have to do it.
Taz is a mellow gentleman, but he is also very athletic. When I tried him out I enjoyed his nice big gaits and forward movement. Although he usually goes western, and has for many years, he has lots of potential as an English horse. I had a blast riding him in my dressage saddle. He moves extremely well off leg, and needs only light contact on the reins. Yesterday we went on a morning trail ride with some of the other boarders. It was my first time on a trail ride in a very, very long time (not counting the cattle drive). Taz is going to be a good trail horse for me. I have some confidence issues on the trail that result from many bad childhood experiences, and I would really like to start working on overcoming those issues. Sunday was a great start to that. The only thing that bothered Taz was one spot on the road where there was a horse-eating power pole, but we made it by after sticking close to one of the other horses. The only thing that bothered me was a big ditch we had to ride through, but I got off and led him through this time. There will be opportunities to challenge myself later as I become more accustomed to riding him.
We rode around the edges of many hay fields, and cut through areas of grass where the stalks were higher than my head even up on Taz - and he is not a small horse!
Now the next project is to set myself some summer goals with both Taz and Halo. For once I'm actually excited about summer despite the hot weather!