Galloping on the Beach or Riding Like the Wind

LIght Artillery galloping on the beachHello All,

Maverick and I have been unstoppable over the last year and a half! We have sorted cows, stormed over the hill country terrains, rode the flat ranch lands, and one of our most favorite adventures now is beach riding! We do a lot of high demand up beach riding, but I’d have to say our most meaningful times are spent either bareback under a blanket of stars reins loose over his neck walking a dirt road solo or spent just out in the pasture.

Mr. Maverick, aka Big Red, Short Boy, Giraffe, Monkey Wrench and they go on and on captures everyone he meets, really. Seems everyone has to give him a nickname, but one thing they all agree on is that he is memorable. And they all are pretty impressed with how athletic he is and how funny it is that we have identical personalities! People laugh because they say we even make the same facial expressions. Now, I don’t know about all that, think they’re calling me a horse? He’s pretty enough, guess that’s acceptable! Maybe they just mean he’s so person like!

Light Artillery and AmandaMaverick and I are getting in lots of riding now, because Jared and I are pregnant. We are due in the end of July! This year will bring lots of change. Jared also gets out of the military early 2013, but we will be moving home just before the new year! Cannot believe this time has finally come! It was 5 years ago that I had to move out to stinking San Antonio, lease/board out my horses, leave all of my dogs, then moved back home, was reunited, and then planned on never being separated again! So when Jared returned from that deployment, we had a place with land outside of San Antonio lined up. A few months passed, and Jared had to leave again, and it was my dogs and horses that got me through staying in Texas that deployment. I had friends of course and my family was supportive, but they were so far! So at night when it was just me, I could go out to be with Maverick and Reba. I remember how good it felt to just lay my head into where his neck and shoulder meets. I could shut my eyes and breath in the horse smell! I could also feel him breath and his heart beat. His hair was always soft and body warm against my face. Sometimes this would be the time I would cry others, just tell myself everything was going to be okay.

Maverick would seem to understand. He would stand patiently. And every now and then he would bend his neck around and nuzzle at me some. This may all sound crazy to some people. But in my situation he was my therapist, best friend, and still of course a comedian! When I didn’t need to just have a (horse) hug, he would back his big red behind right into my personal space. He loves a good rump rub! And once he’s had that for about five minutes on each side he will park his side right in front of me. This of course means, belly rub! Sometimes it’s right between the front legs. Sometimes it’s to the side a little and middle ways back. Sometimes it’s all over. He lets be know, because when it’s perfect he sticks his neck out twitches his lip all around and stretches out! If I just keep missing the spot he will literally look at me like okay, (MOM!) you and your fingernails stay still, and he moves back and fourth, side to side!

Light Artillery on the beach

Oh he’s funny! As much of a character as Mr. Maverick is, he is shy! I’ve always known he’s picky about who he likes. I have friends he cannot stand, wont’ pay any mind to, walks off from! I have others he loves. For me he is like melted putty in my hand when we are alone. Well, I say he is shy because without fail, every time I get home or come out of the sliding glass door he’s been straining to peer into for hours….he nickers all about! He demands that I see him! Treat or not! At least a good head pat and nose kiss!

Well I love this, I want to show everyone! You let one person get out of that truck with me, NOT a sound! Maybe a few quick glances! It’s hilarious! I can try to get him to talk, nada! Maverick says he aint no Mr. Ed! Oh it cracks me up! It’s even funnier if I get out first and he starts up, then someone else does. Silence! Like he’s all embarrassed! Really in the last year and a half we have clicked. I can anticipate his reactions, feelings, moves, everything! He knows me too! It’s great! He is so intelligent! With him we are to the point that if it crosses my mind, it’s crossed his too. That is invaluable to me! I think it and before I ask him for it, something as little as scoot over for me to reach this better, he’s done it! He loves to please me! And with this bond, I yearn to make him happy and treat him the best possible! We are still on the same feeding plan and with the farrier that we switched to last year, and all of this is working great! We’ve found what works!

Ben, is our new family addition. He is Jared’s horse. Reba and Maverick are way too much my horses. They just have the personalities I like and riding styles. Jared likes one that you ride every few weeks and without fail you have to nearly beat just to get a slow walk. And then you’d have to shoot in the hind end for a trot. And one that does NOT care if there’s another horse on the whole face of the Earth. He doesn’t care about nickering when he gets home, or being watched through the glass. For him its not about the relationship.

Light Artillery and AmandaWell anyways, Ben is a horse of his own. We bought Ben from a friend. He was suffering from laminitis, severely obese, and in some serious need of care with the understanding of his condition! Ben is also a 2001 model like Maverick. He is 16.1 hands. Also a sorrel. (He’s in the beach group photo first in line) Ben’s registered name is Big Gentle Ben. He was trained for a preachers wife in her late sixties to be a pet and so she could go on a biannual church ride. Ben acts draft! He was tied to a panel fencing, the paneling fell, Ben’s only reaction was he dropped his head to that the lead wouldn’t be so tight! Oh, Ben! We get along fine, but that horse is a bore! On the flip side, he mellows out Maverick so much! Ben has been a blessing! I think Maverick missed a gelding buddy. Gambler, his old friend that Shaila has, is still doing well, but is way back in Florida! We have many hang out times scheduled though next year!

Ben and Maverick will just hang out most of the time. Now, when they play, a whole different Ben comes out. At first, Maverick will pester Ben for at least 10 minutes before he can get Ben to at least pin his ears and make an ugly face. Once Ben does that Maverick is relentless! He will go flip Ben’s tail around, mess with his mane, nudge him then trot off! Ben usually then gives in and they play! If you have ever seen the Twilight movie where the vampires are playing baseball under the cover of the storm, that’s what I think of when these two boys play. The sprint about, spin, turn, slide, stomp, buck, speed all about, and then when they….REAR! OH MY GOODNESS! Gambler was maybe 15H with shoes on, Ben and Maverick sound like a thunderstorm and when they stand up on those hind legs, their heads have got to be in the Heavens! Reba’s usually just bouncing around through it all! They make good siblings! :}

Now, for the beach talk!

Last March I discovered a undeveloped public but little used coastline. It’s over 160 miles of freedom! It’s about a 2 1/2 hour trailer ride from the house–so not that bad. Maverick went his first time in May, right before my knee surgery. Then I had to recover most of the summer and wasn’t up for it. October came and it was all game again! Our most recent trip was last weekend, because I wanted a bareback ride with Maverick where we stretched out into an OTTB gallop. And being pregnant and all, doing that now and not in the weeks coming was best. I know, I am going to have to slow down. But that will be good for both Maverick and I. We well get lots of our slow relaxing nature park and dirt road rides in. And then just lots of ground time.

We went with four other friends. Reba and Ben went too! My great friend that Maverick does like Erica, from San Antonio also went. Megan Locker who let the horses stay at her place for a few months over the summer while we did major pasture renovations and to help Reba with her respiratory issues went. A co-worker Joslin went and rode Ben, then another friend Tiffany went! Oh it was a blast! Everyone was mounted on a sturdy saddle and squatty well trained Quarter Horse, except, me, of course. My mount of choice….MAVERICK!

Riding like the wind on a Thoroughbred on the beach!We went bareback. I love the feeling of being so close and feeling his back and no saddle to disrupt our communication. We trudged up and over sand dunes, splashed about in the waves, walked along the beach, cantered and did a nice extended trot for had to be a mile! Then we, opened up and hit mach 3! We were in a nice canter, others somewhere behind us, wind coming off the water with a misty feel, all sounds drowned out by the crashing of the waves carried by the wind. He was taking huge strides enjoying this, and was ready for more. I leaned forward, gave one kiss, and I felt the gears changing! The next three strides were lunges. We dropped probably a foot closer to the ground and his neck went straight out! Oh, leaned over his neck so I could look between his two ears his mane was stinging my face! And as I like to do, I looked off his shoulder to watch for about two seconds the blur of his front hooves! That’s all it took. My adrenaline was pumping!

We went until he had a good rush too. And we pulled up nice and easy. When we stopped first thing I noticed was my teeth were really dry. I had been smiling the whole time so they were dried! Next I noticed we were alone on that beach! Well peering really hard through the haze there were small resemblances of our friends back behind. Maverick did his tree top prance for the next little bit. Oh he felt good! Uhh huh! We rode another good little bit, then went back towards the trailers to check the tide level. Maverick and I saddled up then so it’d be easier to get on and off so I could take some pictures as the sun was getting low. One day, even after I return back East. I plan on loading up Maverick, Mrs. Arlene, Shaila, Brittany and going to Texas again for a visit. We will then met up with Megan, Erica, and who ever else, to enjoy a beach ride, hit the Hill Country again. And then I think it’d be awesome to travel up to the Chamba Basin in Colorado. Hoping to make this trip happen early summer of 2014 or 2015….will have to keep you posted! :}

As, for now…..back to my math homework! This has been a nice escape! I must keep from day dreaming about Maverick and the beach. And must NOT look out the back door….he might catch me and make me come give him a rub! Hope all is well with everyone!
Maverick and Amanda.

Riding like the wind on a Thoroughbred on the beach!