At home, waiting to be loaded:
Hudson is smiling. This is a huge smile for Hudson, Master of Understatement.
Dinero is catching some Zzzz’s.
It was hotter than blazes all day. Which meant a most excellent evening in the hills: T-shirt warm, and not too hot to
rope, um, spectate. It probably was hot if you were hurtling after a steer.
Hudson was overjoyed to lose the two pound dressage saddle (?!?), and feel the heft of a sixty pound roping saddle. (He’s such a guy.)
Once a cow horse, always a cow horse. He doesn’t understand he’s awesome in dressage.
Below, A rare photo of Hudson with his ears forward. Note: his attention is fixed on the arena gate.
The roping arena: it’s level, the footing is light and fast, and it’s HUGE. Think football field. It may be my favorite arena ever. It’s certainly Hudson’s. We rode with Trixie and Bella before practice while they warmed up.
I had the best dressage ride ever: round, forward, relaxed, on the bit…he was so light in the bridle that holding his mouth was like holding a sheet of paper. At every gait. Wonderful leg yields, nice turn on the haunches, perfect in every way. Luckily, on roping saddles, the stirrups are not set as far forward as other western saddles.
Big arena, room to gallop: I let him go. To my surprise, he merely stretched out, relaxed, and cantered on. He was humming with happiness. Only minor blip: acceptable. Jigging near the box…
My laugh of the day: technically, I know how to hold split reins. I’m good as long as I don’t have to move. Unfortunately, at some point while riding, you have to move? It seems to be part of the deal. (I ride the halt at Olympic level, if I do say so myself.) I appeared to be hauling up or dropping anchor every time I adjusted rein length. Hudson didn’t care. At all. That’s how happy he was.
Bella and Dinero in the box:
It’s quite possibly the most beautiful ranch I’ve ever seen. The box is shaded by old trees, the late afternoon light filters down, and everything glows.
So. Here’s the thing:
- I had a blast
- Hudson had a blast
- We were still doing what I love
- I have no interest in showing dressage
- The whole atmosphere is relaxed, inclusive, and welcoming
- I felt no need to be perfect
- Just because Hudson can DO dressage doesn’t mean he likes it
Maybe I should consider…?
Bella generously said, of her extra roping saddle: “If you can lift it, you can borrow it!”
I’ll just be the one down at the barn, doing dead lift saddle reps…
…and one and two and three and four and….make those biceps burn!