I admit it. I've been a bit down on the horse thing. On the riding thing. On the New Hampshire thing. The ice storm took the wind out of my sails about my quaint little farmette.
I spent the drive home today ranting to my friend in Texas about how I just can't *think* about riding. I lack the time and the enthusiasm. I can't get excited about the little nuances of my hip angle. I can't wax philosophical about the virtues of the outside rein. I just can't. Riding sucks right now. It's been a week since we've ridden and that was in the indoor. I feel like we are falling behind... behind what I don't know. My friend pointed out that I am still in the "Texas year round" mindset where winter is where you train the hardest because it's too hot in summer. I need to ease myself into the "winter is for relaxation".
Anyway, I was not looking forward to riding tonight. Brego with a week off is one feral, hairy monster.
When I pulled open the door to the indoor, it was empty. An arena to myself. I will longe, I thought. I haven't done that in a while and it might do my addled brain some good to let Brego get his ya yas out while I am safely on the ground.
I attached the longe line and sent him out. Now, you must know, Brego is the WORLD'S WORST LONGER. He never moves forward and he knows exactly how long that whip is and if you're an inch too far away, he mocks you with his lethargy. When you get close enough of the whip, he explodes into dominant displays which melt the bravest heart. I hate longing him. But tonight, he was different. He moved out into the biggest, lightest, most uphill trot I have ever seen on this horse. Period. With no sidereins to lean on, he was elevated and pushing from his hind end. I was frankly in shock.
He threw in a couple of head tosses and showed me his "stallion" pose, but it was just a game. From the ground, I could see it was a game. He performed some unbelievable walk to canter departs and never once pulled on the line or acted up.
And you think that's good... under saddle he was even better. He moved with me. He breathed with me. I collected him with my seat. I asked for transitions with my abs and he spun around on turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches with the slightest leg aid.
I seriously began to wonder if someone had swapped Brego out with a well-trained horse. But then, he knew me too well. He knew what I wanted and did it, light as a feather. I rode for 20 minutes and called it a night. A week. A month. He was too perfect.
As I walked him home in the cold, dark night, I choked up a little. This horse, who is often a pain in the ass and a bully and eats way too much and destroys way too much, is a gift. He is a mirror into my deepest feelings. In one hour, he removed all doubt about the move, the farm, the weather. We can and will accomplish everything I desire because he *is* a well-trained horse. He's trained perfectly for me. And tonight, we danced.