The first horse I rode in OVS was Urbino. He was an old horse, mainly brown, and very tall. I constantly struggled to put his bit on, as he would always lift his head up above the reach of my arms. I’m 5’2 now. I was probably 5’1 or 5’0 two years ago, so I asked to switch horses that would either work with me better or was a tad shorter.
I switched horses maybe one or two more times before settling for Layla. I believe she was at least part Gypsy, tall, sturdy, and one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen. Her coat and mane was black and white while her tail was pure black. She was a massive horse, and had not been ridden a lot, so she was quite stubborn and didn’t quite like having the bit put in.
To my great dismay she would also lift her head up above arms reach, and for a while I got my taller friends to help me bit her. Being that short and weak was unbelievably frustrating.
Layla was a complete Princess, for she knew how tall and beautiful she was. The way she walked, the way she swayed when she lifted her feet up, made it seem like she was dancing down a catwalk.
Slowly she began to respect me, and after a while she seemed to understand that I was short and that I needed a little help when brushing her mane and putting her bit on. On the days where she felt good she would lower her head for me and on the days she seemed more stubborn she’d ignore me and let me struggle on my tiptoes.
She was pretty darn lazy, plodding along with her feet picked up high. A whip helped, but I had to teach her that she had to walk at a relatively quick pace and not hang her head. She learned quickly and was probably my smoothest ride ever.
I rode Layla for about a year and then moved on to different horses, but I visit her every day to brush out her mane and maybe give her a mint or a handful of grains. When I leave the barn I always look back, and she’ll always watch me leave with an inquisitive look on her face.
I always wonder what horses do all day, but maybe horses wonder what humans do all day too.