Whew! Boy was June warming up. Back in May I had started riding Athena! It was AMAZING!!
Athena and I had more lessons since she was ride able and responding so very fast. One morning I grabbed Athena and starting tacking her up. I walked to my locker and turned around to see Athena standing there, looking perfect and completely healthy. It literally took my breath away! I couldn’t believe how far my little rescue mare had come along. Her coat was shiny, her feet were growing stronger, her eyes were softer and clearer, she was gaining so much muscle. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have such an absolutely stunning horse! <3
We started working on lunging her on the lunge line, which was pretty crazy at first. She would bolt, get extremely close. It was just a mess. After about two or three days, Athena had it down pat. By the end of July, I could move her into different gaits with my voice and different directions with my hands. It made lunging and warming up so much easier!
Athena and I started riding by ourselves!! Sherry was there the entire time, but we had no assistance. We worked on stopping and turning (especially off the leg).
We did so. much. bending. It was good for her though! She had a problem with moving forward and sometimes it would get a tad frustrating, but we were working together and I was patient with her as could be.
While Athena was learning, I was too. You see, I had hip surgery two years prior due to an old Army injury. I had a long recovery and because of that I hadn’t been able to ride very much in the past two years, let alone learning how to ride with a bad/different hip. I left every ride sore as could be. It was hard not only getting back in the saddle and gaining my seat, my hands, and my legs, but learning how to do all of that with my new little handicap. It was good we were both starting slow! We both were recovering from injuries and growing stronger together! 🙂
We finally got to a point where I could ride Athena alone. This horse (to this day!) has never bucked or reared with me. She would get a little frustrated when she didn’t understand, but as sappy as it sounds I knew she had my back and wouldn’t let anything happen to me. Yes, we took things very slow for her but I could see how much confidence she had in herself and me.
After every lesson I would rinse the sweat off of her, find a shady spot and let her graze while she dried. It was so nice spending time together. She would occasionally stop grazing and sniff me up and down, or play with my hat or buttons, or nibble on the toe of my boot. She would get super close so I could slow pet her face, or neck and sometimes leg.
I would talk to her about everything that was going on, and what big plans I had for us or listen to music. Sometimes we would just sit in content silence and enjoy each other’s company.
It was so peaceful and quiet. I loved just watching her graze and looking at all her unique features, such as her tall withers, her cute and soft nose that got a little pink in the sun, her ADORABLE spots on her belly. You can tell I am just infatuated with her huh? 😉
As equestrians we sometimes get the weird questions like “do horses like to be ridden?”, “does it hurt them or make them sad to ride?”, “do horses know what is going on when you are on them?”. I would have to say that Athena LOVES to be worked, has gained confidence with every ride, and she looks forward to every lesson! Not only that, she is my BEST friend and although she is green and doesn’t know what is going on, she is easy and careful with me. Isn’t that amazing how horses are like that?
Athena sped through lessons and we saw how much potential she had. She was smart, a GORGEOUS mover, and had such a level head. I had hopes to show my pretty mare but didn’t know if she would be good for it and how she would respond.
Athena excelled in June, and it was clear that we had an extremely talented horse on our hands. Sherry and I shifted gears and started preparing to get her show ready.
Thank you for reading and being so supportive of Athena and I! Stay tuned for next week’s update with Athena!
Read more about our journey together by CLICKING HERE! You can read how I found her, how we overcame an injury that most said she wouldn’t recover from, and how she went from an aggressive and scared rescue to a stunning and loving friend!