Yesterday Kessy and I enjoyed our 500th trail ride! We’ve been partners five years and two months, that’s about 100 rides a year. And Saturday has been along on nearly every ride. I keep a journal of our adventures and spent a little time reviewing our journey today. In the beginning we had a number of rough patches to sort through, I got a chuckle today reliving some of them. We had our first Coffee Clutch together May 17, 2010. Kessy turned 12 this past May.
|The Coffee Clutch gang back in 2010|
Most our rides have been between an hour and an hour and a half, due to my issues with my back and legs. I always say I ride so I can walk, equine assisted therapy. If we use 4 miles an hour and calculate the just over 650 hours we’ve logged about 2,700 miles, all bitless and barefoot. Kessy never had a bit in her mouth or shoes on her feet. We ride the woods surrounding our home, occasionally venture out to State Parks, but I much prefer saddlin’ up and riddin’ right out. After the pre-ride exercises for Kessy of course.
|Saturday has run along for nearly every ride. He missed a few this summer in the heat, he's packin' on a number of years now ... And he missed a couple in deep snow, too deep for his short legs.|
She’s developed into quite a lady, taught me much and continues to teach me. I like to think she’s learned a thing or two from me as well. Does she do everything I ask, nope. Do I do everything she asks, nope. We understand each other, and each other’s assets and limits, and make a wonderful team.
Kessy has become quite the bird watcher, willing to stand quiet while I spot a bird, as long as I need. We’ve had adventures in the wild with everything from turkeys, coyotes and even riding up on black bears. Never once, not even in the early months, did she ever fail to stay under me, no matter the size of the spook. She has often modeled for pictures for our Coffee Clutch blog, facebook, and my book, “It’s for the Horses.” She’s helped teach folks those exercises, and even assisted for a few hoof trimming lessons. She gives the grandchildren rides when they visit.
Her gaits have developed into things of grace and beauty. She has a delightful flat walk and running walk. Her rack, which we discovered only 2 years ago, has become smooth, flowing—and fast. Her canter is as comfy as my recliner. Her gallop blazing. Oh yes she has a big trot too. Kessy is half TWH and half National Showhorse. Early on she did not know she had any gaits. The first time she held a running walk for more than 100 feet was May 30, 2010. I looked that up in her journal.We celebrated a bit today after our 500th trail ride, Kessy had an apple, I had coffee and we talked and hung out together most of the afternoon. We look forward to many more years and trail miles together. I know she’ll never read this but, “Thank you Kessy for accepting me and taking care of me!”
Gitty Up, Dutch Henry
P.S. To have a look at my book “It’s for the Horses: An advocate’s musings of their needs, gifts, spirit and care,” please go to www.itsforthehorses.com .