Recently I was asked if I’d want to ride Val, and I think that before the sentence was finished I enthusiastically said “YES!” At the time I didn’t really care who the horse was, I was just excited to have an opportunity to ride someone!
Well, let me tell you a little about Mr Val. He’s about 14 years old and is a Dutch Warmblood. However, I think he’s actually a miniature Warmblood, as right now, with all his fuzzy hair and huge, fat belly, he looks more like a Shetland than a Warmblood. He’s a competent 3rd level horse, but hasn’t been consistently worked in the last few years, so currently he’s competent in trotting for about 5 minutes before needing a break. He’s in between owners, and hasn’t gotten out of his paddock in about 6 weeks, so I am slowly bringing him back, getting some lbs off of him and having some fun perfecting my dressage skills. (Or just remembering to keep my chin up and wrists straight.
He’s level headed and an in your pocket kind of horse and the three rides I have had on him have been really fun. I’m taking a lesson on him Tuesday so I can work on keeping him consistent to the contact and getting him to stop swapping behind in the canter. His canter is a bit rough, and I can’t tell if he is swapping behind because he’s unfit and having trouble staying round and forward, or if I need to ride him a bit differently.
The biggest challenge with Val was finding a saddle that fit him. Our barn is filled with narrow, medium narrow and a couple of medium tree saddles, and none were going to fit his huge belly. I ended up pulling out my OLD (like circa 1980s) Kieffer AP that I used on my old Clydesdale x and guess what- it fit him pretty darn well. Riding in this saddle sadly isn’t giving me much nostalgia, instead I think about how tipped forward I am and how uncomfortable it is on my female parts. But, it fits him, so I’ll get over it.
Georgie has her recheck appt on Wednesday so fingers crossed for that. We have been going for some walks which she has loved, and she seems to be feeling pretty feisty so I am taking that as a good sign.
Hopefully we will get good news and I can start to hop on her again! But for now, I’ll keep enjoying Val.