To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I rode Freedom. He’s 23 or 24 now and I didn’t put shoes on him this spring. Mostly he’s happy hanging out in his field, watching his mares, and putting on a good show of galloping when the spirit moves him.
But Zelda came back from the hunter pace a little footsore. There were some rocky bits, and she’s barefoot. She normally has gravel-crunching hooves, but she’s looked ouchy. So while she is relaxing with her hoof packed with Magic Cushion Xtreme, I put Freedom back to work. He feels pretty good for an old man.
One nice thing about a horse like him is that he keeps himself fit. I took it easy — mostly walking with a bit of trotting — but it served the purpose of getting out on an amazing day, and giving him a job.
Truth be told, he likes getting out and doing something. He’s always calmer after he’s been ridden and he thrives on the attention. He’s quite a different set of wheels than Zelda. For one thing, he feels quite small and narrow. He’s not really. It’s just that she’s a beast. Riding him is more like driving a sports car: small, sporty and you can go from 0-35 in just a few seconds. When you put your foot down, you get a response. Zelda? She’s more like an SUV. Or a hummer.
I’ll see how he does this week while Zelda rests. It may be time to pull him out of retirement.