Huey's abscess is looking much better now. The swelling is mostly gone and the puncture is filling in nicely. We haven't been able to ride him since before our vacation. Although he was ridden by my instructor twice last week. I'm sure he doesn't object to the extra attention without all the work.
But last night my instructor said, jokingly I think, "You know you could just hop on him bareback with a halter." Well, I suppose technically there was nothing preventing me from using a saddle, since the abcess is on his cheek. I hadn't ridden bareback since I was a teenager. I used to hand-gallop my OTTB in the back fields with just a halter and lead rope. I remember how her back moved like a piston and feeling like I was a part of every breath and stride. My mother was horrified. "You did?!!!"
"Ya, mom. But only when you weren't around of course."
Suddenly, I felt dared to do it. Could I regain my teenage wild exuberance? I walked him down to the safety of the indoor arena. So much for fields of grass. Huey turned to look at me. "Are you forgetting something?" he seemed to ask.
"I suppose I need a mounting block." I said. Huey started to wander away from the block to nibble on a hanging longe whip. "Maybe you better hold him." I told mom. I had to hold onto his withers with both hands to get aboard, but I still almost slipped right off the other side. "Umm... Why don't I lead him first while you get your seat?" Mom suggested.
After about 5 minutes, I started to feel more comfortable. I could feel each breath Huey took, waves of muscle under his hide, every foot lifting off and setting down. I convinced mom I could take the lead rope myself now. I finally let go of my death grip on his mane, "Wee this is as much fun as I remember!" We calming walked around the arena for another 5 minutes. "Thank you for being such a good boy, Huey. I guess I've bored you enough for today." We went in for a long grooming session and snacks. So much for galloping through green waves of grass!
14 hours ago