Final Call showed me tonight that his lovely uphill frame is well-suited for that classic TB move: “getting light in front.”
The round pen worked for join-up (and he was a total star, working his mouth and lowering his head after about ten minutes, and putting his nose on my shoulder when I turned my back) but as soon as I was mounted and trotting I could tell that it was too slippery to ride in.
I weighed my options. I could get off and take him in or I could ride him out in the paddock. Not much of a choice. . .
I went with paddock, because I may be a slacker but I know I’ve got to ride him out there sometime.
I managed to open the gate while mounted, which frankly astounded both us, but once I gathered up the reins and caught his attention again, he walked out nicely enough.
Don’t be too jealous, but my paddock and round pen back up to a home autobody garage. I didn’t put it there, we bought the place that way. The Good Ol Boys were on a Budweiser break and watched with interest as my snorting monster cavorted across the field.
Guess who else liked seeing Final Call out in the paddock? Heckle and Jeckle, the yearling comedy duo, who decided to put on their best Spanish Riding School/Wild West Rodeo routine for our benefit.
The usually static, flat horizon that characterizes central Florida suddenly took on new landmarks, as I found myself peering through Final Call’s pricked ears.
My gods that horse can make himself tall!
Through use of the most defensive seat I learned at the track- deep seat, heels jammed down and roughly just in front of my knees, body bent at waist, chin just above my hands, hands pressed into neck just above withers- I managed to ride the stargazer and even allow him a nice easy canter. I would ride out a tornado in this seat. It preps you for spin buck or bolt, without causing unnecessary tension. Indispensable for anyone riding an OTTB. Their lightness is one of their athletic gifts, and it can certainly be used against the unwary rider.
This post was written on a BlackBerry and I’m curious to see how it turns out…