After our fun Portland tour, Erin, Sandra and I said goodbye to Heather, Barb and Leah and drove to Aurora, Oregon to meet up with Tracy Eilers and her horse Falcon CR.Falcon is a six year old bay Lusitano gelding, who competes in dressage.
Right after I took this picture, Tracy handed me that red bag. I peeked inside and saw a pair of paddock boots and breeches. "Would you like to ride Falcon?" she asked. I assume this was a rhetorical question because who wouldn't want to ride Falcon?
I was feeling pretty giddy as we followed Falcon and Tracy's trainer, Pippa, to the indoor arena.
Pippa rode first.
Then it was my turn.
Suddenly, things got real and not in a good way.
As I stood there in my borrowed boots and breeches, I realized I was about to get on a very fancy horse at a very nice facility with a whole crowd of onlookers, including the very fancy horse's very talented trainer and very generous owner, watching my every move.
It was intimidating.
"This might not be pretty," I mumbled as I climbed aboard.
Indeed, the first couple laps weren't great, mostly because I was overthinking everything. Then I settled down and started tuning into Falcon and things kind of fell into place. We walked and trotted and did some circles and leg yields. He felt amazing--light, responsive and extremely athletic.
I must not have looked okay, too, because Pippa asked if I'd like to help her school him in Piaffe.
Once again, I think that was a rhetorical question.
I've ridden piaffe before, but only once, so I really had no idea what I was doing.
Fortunately, Pippa is as good at training humans as she is at training horses. Together, we were able to get a few good steps in both directions.
What a good boy!
This is my "I have no idea what I'm doing but this is so much fun!" face.
What a perfect ending to my awesome BreyerWest weekend!
Thank you so much to Tracy (and Pippa) for sharing Falcon with me. Thanks also Erin for setting this up and Sandra for taking the pictures. I love you guys and I love that horse!