If I ever say another disparaging thing about my gray pony, Speedy "You da man" G, you all have full permission to smack me silly. That boy is golden.
We headed out across the road to the park's hiking/equestrian trail. Tobias ran ahead like a crazy man, splashing through the river and bounding back up on the trail in front of Speedy. While Speedy gave him the occasional stink eye, he was careful not to step on Tobias and he never threatened to kick or nip. And more than once, Tobias stopped immediately in front of Speedy to sniff or just to be a pain. Speedy would touch him with his nose, and Tobias would be off terrorizing the ducks and squirrels.
After a half hour or so, my husband took Tobias and headed back to the truck while Speedy and I continued on around Lake Ming before heading back to the trailer. Before my husband left, he took a couple of photos for me. "Ear pics" are great, but sometimes we need to see the whole body.
Several times along the trail, we were met by various people who asked to pet Speedy. At one point, a group of at least ten kids came charging through the trees yelling, "Horse! Horse!" Speedy stood politely as kids (from infant to 13 years old) stroked his nose, belly, and tail. He adores small kids and always drops his nose to their level. And no matter how many tiny feet are beneath him, he never, ever steps out of place.
As we neared the trailer, an elderly couple stood to the side so we could pass by. Behind them, stood an even older woman who looked pretty fragile. I stopped Speedy when the man asked if he was an Arabian. Speedy was so careful next to those elderly people that my heart just swelled with pride. They pet his nose and admired his sparkly bridle charm, oohing over how soft and friendly he was.
No matter how eager I am to finish up my ride, I always stop and let people visit with Speedy. He is an incredible ambassador for not only the Arabian breed, but for all equines.
When we wrapped up for the day, my heart was so full of love for this guy. He has truly turned out to be an amazing horse, game for anything that I ask of him. There aren't a lot of "show horses" that can be tossed into a trailer on a brisk morning at 38℉, ridden with an exuberant Labrador Retriever, and then motor along the trail by themselves with a pleasant expression. Not only can he do all that, but he can be trusted to hand gallop along the trail and then return to a quiet free walk without any shenanigans.
He certainly made me proud this weekend. I hope we can do the ride again before my Christmas break is over.