Two Years Ago, Today…
Two years ago, today, I bought Cole Train. Seventeen years ago, today, Mingo was born. He died a month before I bought Cole—and I bought Cole to replace the hole in my heart. It is hard to believe that Mingo was such a young horse when he died. I bred and raised him all myself, and he was the sweetest horse. I still miss him.
Anyway, back to Cole. It has been an exciting 2 years. He went from being afraid to step on pavement to an awesome trail horse. I never doubted that he would be a good trail horse because good training equals a good horse. The awesome part is what thrills me. Some things can’t be trained—they are born into a horse. He seldom spooks—and has always been that way. He has tons of energy, and now that he is fairly fit, he has shown that he has plenty of endurance, too. He has a lovely ground-covering trot—my most favorite gait for traveling. For all of his spirit, he is a very level-headed horse. He is perfect for me—there is only one other horse I have found that fit that description, and that is Cruiser. Having Cole is helping me adjust to Cruiser getting older. It turns out that Cole isn’t the horse to replace Mingo, but the horse to replace Cruiser and that is a good thing.
Cole was a 4-year-old unridden stallion when I bought him. He was gelded before delivery. I have been kicked, dragged, stepped on a hundred times in the first couple months until he figured out how to stay out of my space, tossed to the ground and run off with. Just why did I want a young horse? Because I knew just how satisfying it is when everything comes together.
Last night, I took him on a short ride with my boyfriend. It was supposed to rain, so we kept an eye to the sky. For the first time, my boyfriend and I cantered together. I have been putting it off because my boyfriend’s back has been causing him some problems, and cantering seems to irritate it. He said he was sound, so when we got to a good spot on the trail, I told him to get ready. We started out in the lead. Cole did a huge bound and a few very fast strides that left Starry in the dust. He then moderated. Starry wasn’t upset, but followed at a good speed. This is the first time I have cantered with my boyfriend in years—since I was able to do it with Mingo. I haven’t been cantering Cruiser with other horses, since he doesn’t have much enthusiasm for it on his own—I’m sure for physical reasons—I don’t want him to do something he shouldn’t out of excitement.
After our little run, we trotted to the end of the trail and turned back for home. We did a mixture of walking and trotting—making sure they didn’t get too hot. When we got back, I quickly saddled Cruiser and rode down to the river. We trotted a few times at the bottom and headed home when we heard the thunder. We got back just in time before it started raining and rode our last 10 minutes at a walk in the indoor arena. I try to do a minimum of ½ hour a day with him, 5 days a week. He is insulin resistant, so not only is he on a low carb diet, but the regular exercise is vital to keep his sugar in balance. So far, we have done well with this—no laminitis.
I’m so glad we didn’t get caught in the rain, again.