Check it out, people.
As of 1 November 2012, I’ll be officially leasing the beautiful young thoroughbred known as Magic. Three months of lease later, if everything is still working out, Magic might just become mine.
We look so happy. I am so happy. Magic is so obliging; Magic might even be happy too, having come amiably up to me in the paddock when I went to ride him yesterday. He was well behaved, too. I spent a few minutes riding him in the lungeing ring, as he isn’t ridden very often and tends to blow up if his energy builds up, before taking him out into the arena. In walk and trot he was fine – forward, responsive, and calm, though he does tend to toss his head about, and sometimes pokes his nose out in one direction while his body goes in the other. Fixable stuff.
Then we started to canter and to my amazement I found that, as far as I can tell, Magic is left-handed. Like people, horses are one-sided, and also like people, most of them are right-sided – Skye, Arwen and Thunder are all right-sided. Magic is the first horse I’ve ridden whom I could consciously tell was left-sided. It’s different, and kind of cool. To the left he canters beautifully, calm, in balance and comfortable, but to the right he’s hesitant to start cantering, slips back into a trot now and then, and tends to rush. He got a bit stroppy as well, threw his head about and gave a little buck, but a few laps of trot cooled him off and we finished off by getting two laps of consistent canter to the right without any nonsense.
He’ll improve massively as he gets ridden more often and we get to know each other. He’s pretty awesome already. I just can’t wait to bring him home!
After riding him, I groomed him as well, and he proves to have decent manners; he wandered about a bit at the start, but I firmly told him that there was no way I was following him around, and he stood like an angel for the rest of the grooming. He’s a bit ticklish on his back, but he doesn’t have any issues with having his face/ears/legs touched, as a surprising amount of adult horses do. (It’s my pet peeve – if the horse won’t let me touch its ears, what on Earth am I going to do if it gets lice or something?)
I also found out the poor guy’s racing name. Somebody who thought that 15.3hh is small for a thoroughbred decided to name him Gadfly. I mean, Gadfly. If he had to be a fly, why not Dragonfly or Firefly? Even Butterfly is better than Gadfly. Thankfully, his current owner renamed him Magic, which suits him far better.
Of course, mighty those this silver horse is, I am still deeply in love with my golden one. Splendid Skye has been given her African horse sickness inoculation, and has to have six weeks off while the shots take effect, but I can still groom her and spend time with her and simply hang around in her presence. Sometimes, a horse and a person just click. Magic and I clicked a few months ago, but Skye and I clicked eight years ago, and with all that time to build on the bond, there’s something very special between us two.
On Sunday, before inoculating them, the Mutterer, Skye, Arwen and I went riding
out. Skye still recovering from her injury, we rode gently, but it was still fantastic. Arwen was pretty lively, but well-behaved, and Skye was her usual, general awesome. She was feeling a bit feisty too; when we went out to catch them Skye took one look at me and took off like a rocket. Skye used to have major issues with being caught, about six years ago, out of fear; but one look at her pricked ears, high head, shining eyes and tossed-up tail told me that my big, beautiful friend was just playing.
Thundering away, neck arched, the golden horse threw out her powerful legs and flew for a
few strides before spinning around and galloping straight back towards me in a blaze of bright colour. I reached out to her, but she shied sideways, head tossing in play; slowing to a trot, she lifted up her knees and showed off, an effortless gait extravagant with pride. Then, of her own accord, she slowed to a more ordinary trot, turned towards me, and stopped within my reach. “Okay, game over, let’s ride.”
That’s Skye, my shining, golden Skye. Bright Skye, pretty Arwen, patient Thunder have nothing to fear. Other horses may come and go, but the gold and silver trio last forever – Skye in her blazing gold, Arwen in her darkest silver, Thunder in his coat of blushing garnet. God willing, the trio will become a foresome with a horse of a different silver.