April 15 notoriously means TAX DAY to many people, and it’s a dreaded deadline.  Fortunately for me, the day brought something much more pleasant than a deadline.  We were able to get out and have a great ride on Sunday afternoon; my first of the year.  It was quite hot, especially for April.

Also a first, I got to ride the regal Sir Winston.  For two reasons, really three reasons, I wasn’t 100% sure we would make it to the actual riding part.

First, I was by no means certain that I would be able to catch him.  Since my trusty ChaCha was nowhere to be found, I was on my own to retrieve the beast from the field.  Definitely no easy task, at least for me.  ChaCha seems to have much less trouble with it.  Hmmm.  Rest assured though, I caught him, eventually.

Second, by the time I caught him I was by no means certain that I would be ABLE to climb aboard and ride him.  Remember, I said it was hot.  It was sunny, hot, and I was wearing a sweatshirt over my Tshirt.  No, of course it never occurred to me to remove the sweatshirt.  That would have been a sign of weakness to the beast, NEVER.  So, anyway it was quite hot and after the extensive hiking session, I was beat.  We cooled off a bit in the shade of the washrack with some grooming and hosing.  I am very glad to say that I was not the only one that worked up a sweat.

Third, after I had the lovely and regal Sir Winston in hand (yeah, by now I’m over having to work so hard to catch him – he’s back to being the endearing Winston rather than “the beast”), I wonder if / how he might fit in my trailer.  As it turns out he fit just fine.  Just fine, that is, using two ‘stalls’ in the trailer instead of the traditional one that a regular horse occupies.  He is an absolute dream with loading and unloading.  He’s very slow and very careful.  I’m guessing he learned that the hard way.

Whew, and after all that, I still had to DRIVE him there, tack him up, and manage to somehow get myself into the saddle.  The trip was fine.  I kinda threw my saddle up as far as I could get it, then see-sawed it back and forth to get it the rest of the way up.  This is definitely not the preferred way to place a saddle on a horse.  He’s two stories tall, so I improvised, get over it.  Got everything on him except my breastcollar.  Fortunately he was fine without it.  Be sure to notice the scale of the horse to the saddle in the pics.  Note please that this is an 18″,  full-rigging, roping saddle.  It is not a pony saddle.

I know what you’re waiting for . . .what tree did I park him under to drop down onto his back?  Ha, not needed.  Yeah, I vaulted right up onto his back, like a pro.  Would you like to buy some real estate by chance?  I parked him beside my trailer fender and got on from there.  Did not dismount til we were back at the trailer.  He was stoic for the dismount, standing stock still the whole time like he didn’t even notice I was there.

The ride was delightful.  Everything is so green again; the birds were performing their regular symphonies.  We only rode about two hours and we took it quite easy.  We trotted a handful of times, just to be sure we could.  He was much more comfortable in the lead, and I think the mares were more comfortable with him in the lead too!  His stride put him well ahead with no effort at all, so he got to take it very easy.  Debra will insist that I share Clem’s pet name for him, Darth.  Just because he was behind Clem on the way up the hill, and just because he walks WAY faster than she does and was really close on her butt, and just because he is a little out of shape, and just because he breathed a little hard while so close to her.  Darth Vader came to her mind.  There.

Misty didn’t care for him at all, no matter where he was, but definitely didn’t like him behind her.  She may have thought him a heffalump.  I could certainly understand.

We finished our ride, loaded up, and made it back to the barn without incident.  Sir Winston went into the field had several nice drinks of water, a good roll, then resumed his grazing job.

I can’t wait for the next installment of “Just how big is that horse?”