Sunday, January 31, 2016

Update on Riley: The scoop

Ri at six months, growing out of his halter...
I've owned Riley since he was three weeks old, and he has been a source of joy to me. He's sweet, and kind, and sensitive, and beautiful, and a clown. I've ridden him since he was about four, and we competed successfully at the lower levels.

Our riding partnership
I love watching my trainer ride Riley -- he's happy in his work, forward, lofty -- just gorgeous to watch, leggy and elegant. But it's really about Riley and me isn't it?

In the last year I've begun to realize that although we do okay together most of the time, we are not an especially good match as riding partners.  There are good rides, and I'm learning to ride better because of him; there is no doubt my riding has progressed. But we have not really progressed together as a team. Ri's big, and he's a big mover, but he's surprisingly sensitive. When he offers the energy and movement that we need, I have trouble staying balanced, and frankly I get in his way. Ri is a good boy -- he has been more than forgiving, but he can't do it alone. At the end of the day he needs a rider who can stay balanced and ride those gaits.

I've thought about this a lot, and after agonizing for months, Riley is for sale. I'm not in a hurry, and I waffle on this decision, especially after a good ride.  He'll go only to an awesome loving home. Please feel free to share with people who you think might be interested. He's a special horse and he has so much to offer. He's on,, and


  1. This doesn't come as a big surprise; the undercurrent was always there in your posts about Riley. I hope that someday you can find another horse of your heart like Harv....

  2. Ah, such a hard decision but I know you have thought about it quite a lot. It's all very positive though and I would say nothing has been lost. You have learned; he has progressed. And you both will carry forth your learning.

  3. Good on you for making a tough decision. Good luck with the sale. I'm sure you'll find just the right person for him.

  4. What a brave, sensible decision. Riley will hopefully find the perfect home where he can enjoy all his ridden work just as much as he obviously enjoys his life with you. And I'm sure there's a super, less sensitive to ride, dressage-but-can-also-turn-his-hoof-to-anything horse out there waiting for you and the next phase of your riding life x

  5. What a tough decision to make, but obviously one you have given much consideration. I hope you and Riley both find the perfect match. I think one of the hardest things to explain to non-riders is that not every horse is suited to every rider . . . or every job.


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