On the 21st, something pretty incredible happened…
Let’s back up to the previous week. I wasn’t able to see Manny for over a week due to the
weather, mud, and exams. So when Jill Jardie texted me, I jumped at the chance! After over at least 2 months of not riding Manny (at PARDS or otherwise, it was time to climb back on my white steed!
All my hard work, and the countless number of people who helped to get Manny ready for this day has paid off! On October 21, I was able to climb up on my white steed and have our first lesson! Thank you guys!
When my mom and I got to Sally’s, we met Jill there. We got Manny and brought him to the barn to be groomed. As I was grooming, my mom and Jill were watching and brought something to my attention. When I groom Manny, I literally have to be right under him because he is so tall. This could potentially be dangerous if he spooks or jumps. I never thought about that before. There’s no other way for me to groom him at the moment so we just have to be careful. Now that he’s my horse though, we can modify things specially for me! Take his lead rope, it was too long so we modified it by putting a zip tie to shorten the length by half (works great by the way). I’m not sure exactly what we are going to do on the grooming end of things, but I’m sure we will figure something out!
After he was groomed, we headed to the arena, mom and Jill walked Manny down to the arena while the rest of us took the ranger. Once down, Jill started to lunge Manny before I got on. He was awesome! Then it was time to ride! I was the first one on him in over a month and wasn’t too sure what he’d do. He did nothing! He just stood there until I was on and my right arm was tied down! Gosh I love this guy!
We started walking. Jill was leading on a loose lead as it was our first time back. It wasn’t long though until we were on our own! It was fabulous! Manny remembered how to neck rein and didn’t do anything when my right leg spasmed! He’s such a good boy!
When I hold the reins, I use to hold them with my four fingers on the bottom and my thumb underneath. I was always “forcing” my elbow to be in. Jill said to turn my hand so it was up and down with my thumb on top. Guess what happened to my elbow? It went in and no more fighting! The little things are always the coolest!
So, of course, at the end of the lesson, I wanted to walk with Manny. We had on awesome dismount! He made the nook with his neck in the beginning and end, like he’s always has done! But I was turning and getting ready to walk around his head, he decided it was a good time to scratch his face! The reins went up by his ears, so Jill stepped in and pulled them back. When I was walking to the other side to walk with him back to my chair, I was half way up his neck and he started backing up! I was still facing him so when he backed up, I was still okay. I lost my balance a little but grabbed the reins and it was all good! I got to the other side of him (where I normally walk) and Manny put his head up and I fell backwards. Thankfully Jill was behind me and caught me (thanks Jill!). After that, I got my balance again (as much has possible, and we walked to my chair! It was a bit rusty but that was only our third walk and the first whole process of dismounting and walking since I got him so I’d say it was pretty successful!
And of course, when we got back up to the barn, Jill, Manny and I had to take a selfies!