So I mentioned yesterday Lucky got his spa treatment so he’d be all nice and pretty for a visitor. This is Riley. Riley is a horsegirl, not a cowgirl. She doesn’t ride cows, after all. Not that she gets a lot of chances to ride horses, either, as her family doesn’t own one. However, her dad’s parents happen to live one town up from where I board Lucky, and her mom and I happen to be old friends, so when they came to visit this weekend, I said of course Riley could come and meet Lucky. I got out to the barn early so I could get him cleaned up and worked a little, and they pulled in just as I was leading him out. I did some trot work, with circles and serpentines, and a little cantering, and then we headed over to the round pen. The B.O. has some smaller helmets for her grandchildren, and the littlest one just fit. Eliz lifted Riley up, and Lucky gave his first pony ride. Riley is very good at sitting up straight and holding the reins (and for those concerned by the above picture, I unbuckled the curb rein and pulled it through so I could lead with it, and she didn’t have much real contact with the snaffle.) We did ‘walk on’ and a heel kick, even though her heels don’t actually reach past the flaps, and ‘whoa.’ Eliz walked alongside, though Riley did a very good job sitting up and didn’t slip at all.
For anyone considering an OTTB who hears that they are crazy, that it takes months for one to be safe for any inexperienced person to handle, and especially if you’ve been told that the longer they raced the worse they are, please consider the photo above, and recall that Lucky is eight. He raced from the time he was two, until November of last year. The only issue we had with him today was once he stopped, he really would rather have stayed stopped. Obviously, that is not the case with ALL OTTBs, but far more of them than you’d think are not wild, crazy beasts. Some are perfectly happy to give pony rides for peppermints.
Lucky had another Vetrolin bath, showed off his peppermint face, and then demonstrated for Riley what horses do when they’re turned out and still slightly damp–make themselves nice and muddy. Then she went to meet the other horses, of whom at least Dom was nice enough to come up to the fence. Nanook also put in an underfoot appearance and attempted to take a nap under Eliz’s car. Fortunately he knows when to move.