Friday, June 14, 2013

Riley and Harv, silver and gold

Not a recent photo, sorry, note winter coat!
Years ago,  Harvey was my riding horse and Riley was just a young pup. I was enjoying both horses, but perhaps I was enjoying Riley a little more. With Harv, I had goals that I wanted to achieve, and the fun was tinged with the usual worries about soundness, ability, and success. With Ri it was different. It was so fun watching him grow up -- there was no pressure to achieve anything, there was nothing to do but enjoy his antics and cuteness.

The tables turn...
Well, now the roles are reversed. Ri is my riding horse, Harv is my buddy.

Like tonight -- I finished my ride on Riley. It went well overall, but we are having an ongoing conversation about the canter frame specifically, and the First Level frame in general. I want it, he has to be convinced, and it is clear he finds the whole thing a bit tiresome.  After the ride, he forgives me. Ri gets his flake of alfalfa and I rub his ears for a bit before I leave.

Then I get in the car to go see Harv. At the moment there are no worries about him -- is it bad to say that my time with Harv is more "pure enjoyment" right now than Ri? The tables have turned!

 Harv's weight is good, his summer coat gleams, and he is happy in his situation. When I get to the barn he is usually either napping or munching something. Tonight, it is the latter. Since it's rained for days, and the indoor is empty, I lunge him a little. Bob observes that Harvey loves to work on the lunge-- he looks so pleased with himself trotting around, neck arched and showing off. Tonight I can feel it too. At some point Harv shifts into a walk and starts to sniff the ground -- he wants to roll.  I don't know if the barn frowns on this breach of horsey etiquette, but there is no one around to object.  I stand by while Harv has a long, delicious roll, and then pulls himself up with a big shake. After this, there is nothing to do but take him out for hand-grazing in the twilight.

One is silver and the other gold
I like the challenge and the ups and downs of riding toward a goal, but I can't tell you how it lifts my spirits to see Harv enjoying life and looking good. It really is a little like a drug, or maybe a glass of wine. Feeling good about both of the boys, but my old guy is my everyday gift. I knew this would be a good summer for him. And for me too.


  1. I love this post. I can actually feel you enjoyment and contentment with both of your boys. Interesting how the tables turn in time, but it's also the natural flow of things with a youngster and older mount in the mix. You're a great horse mama!

  2. Lovely! :-) So glad you have both your boys, to enjoy for different reasons.

    (You'll never believe this: word verification was "Horses!" That's one for the books.)

  3. The man who found my horse told me, "Every horse needs groceries and a job to do," and he was correct. Whether the job is carting the rider around on the trails or in circles for a riding lesson or just being a pasture pal to another horse, the job is very important. In Harv's case, he has done his one job and is now enjoying his retirement. I'm sure he loves to see you as much as you enjoy him.

  4. So happy for Harv. He seems to be enjoying his new situation. He deserves it.

  5. I like this post. Your writing is wonderful and I think many enjoy it. I can feel the warmth in your soul as yoi watch Rharv trot in the barn with his neck arched and showing off to the noise of long ago cheering crowds that still ring in his ears.


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