Subtitle: A Blogger Meet Up with Hillary from Equestrian at Hart
After what seemed like a million times that Hillary has been down my way with Annie and I haven’t been able to make it work, it kind of seemed like we would never actually be able to make a meet up happen. But then Hillary became interested in the Elisa Wallace clinic that I was also interested in and I pulled my $hit together. YAY!
It was a short weekend spent mostly on the back of a horse (the best kind right?) but I had a fabulous time meeting Hillary and all of her animals. We met at the clinic and rode in our session before heading out to one of my favorite local eateries (where I maybe shouldn’t have indulged quite so much on a blackberry infused vodka lemonade… dangerous!). Then headed back to my place to get some shut eye.
All four pups got along pretty well. Bear decided that he loved the same type of chuck it ball that Guinness also adores. I tell you, these balls are like GSD crack. Also, he is just the most well behaved little puppy. You would totally forget that he is only 6 months except if he weren’t still so lanky and puppyish in his looks.
The next morning we rode in the 11:00 session of the clinic but of course Hillary had to leave early to take care of Annie and I had to go get Gus so we once again met up at the clinic grounds. I will talk more in depth about the actual clinic but it’s the aftermath that I really want to share.
The farm that hosted the clinic used to be a race horse training facility. It’s kind of fallen into disarray which is unfortunate because the bones are there and the grounds are beautiful. And they still have the race track even if it’s not groomed perfectly.
Hillary and I first went out on the track thinking we were just going to walk around, get a few pictures, and cool our OTTBs out after a good jumping lesson.
Then as we were walking we decided it might be okay to trot clockwise around the track and then turn around.
Then we got to the far turn and thought, well maybe we can just do a little slow canter? Or maybe even a quiet hand gallop?
And then Annie put her nose in front of Gus’ and that was it. We were gone.
Thank GOD that one of the things Elisa Wallace had been working on me with was rating in the XC field when Gus got going because I needed it. First I start pulling like I normally would.
That just kind of threw him off balance and let him brace. Then I remembered, shortened my reins, braced one hand into his mane and PULLED hard with the other. He came back to me just like Elisa told me he would.
Annie, of course, was the perfect OTTB and had no problems taking off with Hillary. Lucky. Though she did lose both of her bell boots so I guess no horse is perfect.
You can’t tell in the pictures but we were cruising and I am positive that I was nowhere near Gus’ top speed. And for a few moments I really did think we were going to be lapping that track a couple of times. I’d like to do this again (and really let him out) when I have my vest on and haven’t already jumped him a bunch before hand.
You kind of forget that he not only raced but he won a couple of times. Sure, they were mostly claimers but he beat other winners. And his half sister won the Kentucky Oaks . He knows what he’s supposed to do and he wanted to run.
That was our fun adventure and I am so glad that Hillary got to share it with us. Hopefully we can meet up at some of the local horse trials! I know Gus and I are raring to go after this clinic.