First Rides

Marley has been on the East Coast now for over a month, and honestly I couldn’t be more pleased with how well he’s settled in. I was optimistic – part of the reason I decided to try bringing him out here was because I felt the environment at our new barn made for happy, content horses – but of course I still spun up and worried about everything from them humidity, to flies, to new turnout… the list goes on.

There’s also been that niggle about whether Marley would settle enough for me to find a half-leaser or have my trainer use him for lessons on days I can’t get out to the barn. He was of course a nightmare when I was rehabbing him, but otherwise I’d always found him to be reliable, steady, and just a lovely horse to ride. Since being returned to Davis he’d reportedly been a super solid citizen, so we had that in our favor – but I’d gotten some feedback from the girl who “bought” him that made me wonder if his personality had changed.

Spoiler alert: he’s been foot-perfect. His personality has not changed. Everybody loves him. I’m so proud of how well he’s doing.

Marley arrived on a Friday and we had our first ride on Saturday. I’d planned to give him a few more days to settle in given the length of his journey, but he was so calm and seemed so curious and happy that I figured just walking around couldn’t hurt. We rode in the indoor since there was a lesson going on outside, and he was a little tense and looky but honestly so good.

He had Sunday off and I came back out on Monday morning before work to ride again. We rode outside and I threw him on the lunge just to see if he had any sillies. Zero sillies, even when one of the horses was bouncing around in turnout not too far from the outdoor arena. I hopped on and Marley just went straight to work, seemingly delighted to be out and about.

I had been a little curious as to whether Marley would be as fun to ride as I remembered. Honestly, he wasn’t super fun through much of his rehab and it had been so long since I’d ridden him properly that I figured there as a good chance I’d get on him and think “oh… he’s fine.” Happily, he’s every bit as fun as I remembered and it is SO NICE to have him back. We have plenty to work on, of course, but he’s the most honest, willing partner. I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to keep working and growing with my red monster again!

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