So let’s talk about that little chestnut pony there.
That’s Shorty. He has the dubious honor of being the first horse I fell off of, the only pony I’ve ever fallen off of, the only horse I met at two barns, and the last one I wanted to see again.
He was super-cute; he’s a little muddy in that photo, but he had a blaze and four white socks – picture-perfect. The story went that he came to the barn I was riding at after getting kicked out of a theraputic riding center because he’d decided he hated having people walking on each side of him. The night I came off, he’d been there all of a week and hadn’t yet been ridden in the covered arena at night.
Guess where my lesson was!
Everything went relatively OK until we started cantering. He’d been a bit flaky about a flower box that was in the middle of the arena, but it wasn’t a big deal. At the canter, though, he’d canter around the arena to that point, and then stop. We did that twice, and the third time, my instructor told me to kick him next time.
So I did. And then I was laying there in the (red Texas) dirt wondering why I was staring at the lights and not the neck of the pony, because the little bugger did a spin out from under me and took off the other direction. After my instructor made sure I was OK, my mom took me up to the barn restroom to get the (red) dirt out of my clothes… my underclothes… my helmet… my glasses… ugh. My instructor, meanwhile, chased Shorty around until he got tired of running and let her catch him and bring him in.
When I ran into him again several years later, I was rather relieved to find out that he was owned by the folks that owned the barn (but not the lesson program), and I was never going to have to get on him again.