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  • Writer's picturejshannon727

Under Saddle

Winston Churchill said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.”

I’m certain his sentiment included women as well. He knew many female equestrians, including his own mother, Lady Randolph. So keen was she to ride that she joined the hunt while seven months pregnant and, after a fall, delivered Winston two months early.

My own joy of horses increased every time I rode Joey. In 2017, I suggested to my husband that we should lease him. “Strategically, that is a poor investment,” he replied. But we did it anyway.

The show season was getting underway around the time I learned to canter. Georgia suggested it would be a great experience for me to enter a beginner flat class called, Hunter Under Saddle. I thought it was a fabulous excuse to buy tall boots, a fitted coat, and new gloves.

The day of the show, I admit to feeling a bit nervous but was comforted by the fact that it was probably Joey’s ninetieth time in a flat class. Before we entered the show ring Georgia told me, “Joey’s always gets first place in under saddle. No pressure,” she laughed.

There were six other horses and riders. Joey was the only pony, and I was the only one born before 1990. Things began well enough. We walked, we trotted. However, when it was time to canter, Joey bolted forward. With ears pinned back, he swept past two horses. Clearly, the prize pony wanted to show off his unique horse’s stride. My heart pounding, I remembered another quote by Winston Churchill. “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Mercifully, the class was asked to walk and line up in the center of the ring. Joey glared at the horses that had been his competition. He only stood still long enough for the judge to announce that we had won first place. Then he pranced forward, to claim the blue ribbon.

I was beaming like a schoolgirl. As Shakespeare wrote, “All’s well that ends well."

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1 commentaire

steve walker
steve walker
20 avr.

I can't believe your husband would not value the pure love and joy of horses. You don't get that from a stock market quote.... Great read Jo Jo

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