Monday, March 14, 2011

Mouthy Mondays

CDN Cowgirl bailed me out and sent me her story again. Thanks!

She said, :"By the way, Cessa is 30 now and she's still doing great. In fact she runs
And spins when I go out to feed her."

Last Ride

*note this is not a "Rainbow Bridge" story*

My mare Cessa is 29 this year. Age is catching up to her and I know, at
Least in my mind, that any day could be The Day. That's something my heart
Has trouble remembering.
Cessa is retired now. The vets say that as long as she seems comfortable I
Can ride her, lightly. I'll admit that I haven't really. From time to time I

Ll saddle her and pop on for a little walk around the yard or the arena.
That's about it, even that little bit makes me feel guilty. Cessa has earned

Her retirement. So she gets to roam the pastures for exercise and if I want
To I can pony her off Applejack.
But I remember the last "real" ride I had on her. The last time that I rode
Her with any expectation. The last ride that she actually had to do any
Degree of work.
It was about 2 years ago. Yes that would make her 27, but that day she felt
Much younger.
I brought her into the barn, groomed her and saddled up. She seemed to have
An extra glint in her eye that day. A little more pep in her step as I led
Her out of the barn.
The weather was beautiful. Warm, not hot. We headed across the yard and down

The driveway. Turned left and headed into the nice, grassy ditch. Cessa gave

A toss of her head, her shiny mane flirting with the soft breeze.
The last few years when walking away from home she'd go slowly, almost like
She felt like a feeble old lady. Of course that was a trick. As soon as we
Turned for home she'd be jigging and prancing. But that day her walk was
Smooth and forward. Like she had places to go and things to do.
We crossed the neighbour's driveway and settled into a jog. Of course
Neither of us was happy with that for long and we kicked it up to a nice
Long trot.
I didn't want to tire Cessa so after a few minutes of trotting I sat deep
And we settled into that beautiful, smooth walk again.
Cessa kept tossing her head and occasionally would take a playful, quick
Step. Almost as if to say "C'mon lets GO! Let's make the most of this great
Day and have a FUN ride!" I gave in and squeezed with my legs as I opened my

Fingers a bit on the reins. Cessa didn't need a second invitation and flowed

Into a slow lope.
I smiled as I watched her ears flicking back and forth as we rocked along.
Cessa was breathing nice and easy. She felt solid and steady... And ready.
I moved my hand forward the tiniest bit and she sped up a fraction. One ear
Was locked forward, the other one kept flicking back to me.
I put on a bit more leg and she happily kicked it up a notch. We played this

Game for a minute or two. A bit more leg, a bit freer rein and she'd speed
Up. Every time giving me exactly how much I asked for. Then I sat deep and
We went back to a walk. Breathing a bit hard but not too bad Cessa kept
Playfully tossing her head and trying to sneak in a quicker step or two. She

Still wanted to run.
Instead I made her walk for a little longer before I gave her a pat and some

Leg and off we went again. This time I just let her run. Hand forward onto
Her neck, a deep squeeze with my leg. She sped up in fractions for the first

Few strides. Almost like she couldn't believe I was letting her go.
She loped the first few strides. Then loped a little faster. A few more
Strides and a little faster. And then she WENT. I could feel her mouth firm
On the bit but not lugging and that wonderful surge of muscles as she
Hurtled into high gear. The breeze and the speed created tears that streamed

From my eyes. For awhile I sat steady and let her run as fast as she wanted.

With a happy sigh I pulled my hand back closer to the horn and sat deep.
Cessa slowed to a lope and then a reluctant trot. After a stride, or three,
I closed my fingers more on the reins and she somewhat grudgingly came back
To a walk.
Her bay coat was glossy with a light sweat as we walked home. I think when
we got back to the barn we were both smiling.
To this day the memory of that ride is something I hold dear in my heart.


  1. Whooppe, I get to be the first.

    CDN Cowgirl thank you so much for that story. And the note upfront about not a "Rainbow Bridge" story.
    I could see and feel your horse moving in the breeze and the wind in your face. Thank you for sharing this with us. We really needed a Great horse relationship and outcome after Cupcake last week. You delivered in spades. DeeDee

  2. This one hit home. My last REAL ride was two Octobers ago. Shortly after, Miss Priss bowed tendons in both front legs while out to pasture. More than once I thought I lost her. My vet advised patience. This is the week I get to ride her around at a walk for the first time. She's not just comfortable, but happy. Although I had literally thousands of rides on this once-in-a-lifetime horse, that last real one is will be the next walk around the yard. Just waiting for the wind to die down...

  3. Awesome story and I totally agree with DeeDee what a great comeback after Cupcake's story ending. A horse loved and cherished right into retirement and whatever the future holds.
    Thanks again for sharing.

  4. Thanks for sharing that wonderful story, I can so relate to your joy in that ride. I have a couple of rides that will always stay with me. I love that you've made me think of them again.

  5. Wonderful writing...I felt like I was riding with you...and a great story too. Glad she's still doing well. My ol' Toby is retired now too...ruling the pastures as long as he's able~