A day we have waited for for 9 long weeks – our riding lessons start again! And the horses are very happy to be working again after such a long lockdown holiday with not so much to do. All our horses enjoy having their brains stimulated, the company of humans to interact with and of course, being able to run like horses should. Although like the humans, you can see on these photos a few have a little bit bigger belly and a little less muscle than they did in March. But the return to work plans are going to bring everyone into fitness again. Without injury. We are pacing their schedules to make sure everyone does a little each day. They will soon look like athletes again!
This is what socially distanced horse riding lessons look like at Ranch Siesta Los Rubios. We are lucky as we have a huge school which makes this very easy to achieve and also these distances mean the horses have to be ridden better. They can’t just follow each other. It allows lessons to be more varied and fun.
But we worry that Paulina the instructor might need a radio microphone now to help her voice cope with the socially distanced lessons!
Have you met our 3 amigos? These lovely greys, all some sort of Arab cross, are absolutely the best of friends. They prefer to be right next to each other. Whether they are running, playing, chilling, eating or having a bath. And especially when out riding.
So who is who in the 3 amigos?
Sen is the quiet one. He has more brown speckled skin but looks grey. This Anglo Arab is usually found being annoyed by Garincha (Gary). Sen is one of the fastest horses at the stables thanks to Nikki taking him out on long hacks for the last year or so, building up his confidence. It was only 18 months ago he couldn’t actually step hoof outside the Ranch on his own without having a total meltdown in fear. Now he is steady, fast and pretty fearless. Although he has his moments!
Garincha is the pretty boy of the group with the sweetest, innocent little facial expressions. He’s also the “baby” of the group although not actually the youngest. Caroline rescued him and he was pretty terrified of everyone and everything when he arrived. He is still nervous of anything new although coming along in leaps and bounds every month after wonderful work with Caroline, Nikki and now Claire who is his new mummy. He is also constantly asking the others to play with him and like the annoying little brother won’t leave the other 2 alone. He recently learnt to go on the horse walker but decided being in his own compartment wasn’t fun and wanted to walk in Sen’s space! Luckily Sen does not mind and puts up with his shadow.
The final one of the 3 amigos is a Lusitano Arab called Lagri. Owned by Hayley he is the youngest but the bravest, smartest and probably most talented of the group. A terrific mover he has all the showiness for the dressage ring, the courage to tackle any cross country course and the stamina and speed to race around the mountains. He’s also pretty spectacular at showjumping already and he’s not even 6. Definitely one to watch.
Our federated (professional, insured) horses and riders were finally able to reunite this week. Despite being retained in phase 1 which restricts other hobby riders coming to the stables, we are hopeful that it won’t be long before everyone can start to reconnect with our equines.
Meanwhile we are emotional and so happy to see the horses back with their owners, and getting some exercise and special love.