My Morgan

What do you do in your 60’s when you realize your faithful old horse needs to be retired. Do you give up, sell everything, or start again? It’s a big decision. 

So I went to Spain and joined a trek that galloped down the coast of the Mediterranean for a week to work out the answer. A kind of kill or cure sort of quest, since I had been frozen with fear for 3 months after  signing up and reading the fine print. It said that you were not allowed to slow the ride down and spoil it for others! The thought of galloping for a week on a strange horse tested everything in me.

 But I did survive, galloping on a 17 hand horse through waves and forests and medieval towns and hail storms, it was great - and I realized I certainly wasn’t ready to give up horse riding and sell my saddle.

 The search for a new horse is so time consuming, and heart wrenching, as unsuitable horses are left behind. It’s expensive, and full of traps and questions. But I had my criteria; a gelding, no more than 15.2; friendly, able to ride out on his own, versatile, and he had to be a Gray. Definitely had to be a Gray.

Then - after months of looking at Trade Me I saw a photo of Glentruin Tristan at the stud of Jeannette & Hamish Macdonald in Wellsford. He looked magnificent. I went to meet him and was blown away by how easy he was to ride, how friendly and uncomplicated, how unruffled he was at leaving his friends and that was it. I had to have him, and, get over the fact that he wasn’t Gray. 

He is the best horse ever, he is adapting to everything I can throw at him. I knew nothing about Morgans before owning one and can’t help feeling the luckiest person to have found him. The Morgan Association has been so friendly and helpful and Morgan Trail Blazers so encouraging and generous with their certificates and monograms. Its been interesting as I log our rides on a calendar to add up for the next trail blazers certificate, and see what we’ve done. We mostly trek on our own through Woodhill Forest for 3-4 hrs a week.  He has accepted  the deer that leap unexpectedly  across our path, the wild tree stumps,  the grazing steer that hide and rustle the flax bushes  deliberately, the trees bending in half on wild days, the surf pounding on the beach, but remains suspicious of the cars that he can sometimes spot 5-10 k away, noiselessly in the distance, going along the highway! What’s that about?

He has accepted dressage discipline and has been to ribbon days and dressage competitions each month. 20 ribbons now. He is just getting better and better. However he can lose the plot at a new venue and a switch in his head makes him turn and pull and throw his weight around but a Phill Maddox course gave us a series of exercises to do that calm him down in 5 mins no matter what, and then he gets on with whatever he is expected to do. Brilliant!.

 What fun he is – how lucky I am – trekking is the best - I would love next to be able to do a long trek on him, improve our dressage and win a red ribbon for absolutely anything.

 Christine Andrews 

 PS - Update from Christine that after a 1st in Dressage on Dec 29 she and Tristan finished the year with a red ribbon in each of the disciplines of dressage, endurance and showing.



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