My close friend from Texas was in town which only means one thing: Hooligan Riding. We've been friends a long time and are very horsey friends at that. I get to see her once a year when she stops by on her way to family stuff in Canada. We have to get a year's worth of riding into one day.
Today, I think we just managed it.
It's been raining every day, but today dawned bright, sunny, and warm. We packed some extra sole guard on Brego's wet feed and tacked up to hit the trails. We rode the 4 mile loop but took extra time at the gallop track on the way back. Today it earned it's name: Gallop Track. I must say, that although Brego is a big ol' drafty boy, and I am certainly handicapping him as a rider over my tiny friend, Brego caught up to the Thoroughbred mare in a dead gallop. That boy can haul.
We ran several laps, up hills, down hills and the horses were just amazing. I even got two very nice right to left flying changes ON PURPOSE for the first time. His left canter is sticky so we have not been successful in getting a flying change in that direction. I was thrilled.
After much running around, we walked them back towards home. We walked through the subdivision down the road and just happened to be walking back by the fairgrounds. I looked out over that massive flat turf field, nearly 1/2 mile from edge to edge, and convinced my friend to go for one more gallop.
She agreed so we walked to the end, turned around, and slowly worked them up from a canter to a gallop. Then I ducked behind Brego's ears and told him to "show her!" He has a whole other gear, folks. I watched that Thoroughbred mares hind end pumping up and down in her gallop, clods of dirt flying into my face, and Brego gained. Just when we got a length away, my friend pulled Hobby up slowly and we blew past. It was amazing and exhilarating! Brego has never felt so good.
Sometimes, you just need a big pipe cleaner to show a horse how fast they can go. Tomorrow, we have an early morning dressage lesson, so we'll be back to being "proper" and all that. But today we we rode. Already my thighs are telling me they were not amused by the amount of two-point I held in my gallops.
It was worth it.