Hillbillie Willie must have watched a Secretariat documentary* last night, as our ride today was breathtakingly fast and fun.
He’s never in a hurry starting out, and if I try to rush him, he tosses his head and pins his ears and gives me the Stink Eye. So we mosey on out, up the hills onto the flats, and then we get down to business, a nice long stretch of trotting, keeping an eye out for the antelope that sometimes watches us from the top of a hill, or the group that sees us and takes off - always towards us, cutting over the trail in front of us and running a big circle around us because they are that fast.
Today we rode a trail Willie loves to motor on, the Lost Juniper Wash-Dead Cow Wash loop with the Badger Hill-Bilbo Trail-Frodo Wash Whammy on the end. The further we went, the more enthusiastic he got.
He knows when he’s working hard and needs to slow down to take a breather, but today he never took a breather once we hit Lost Juniper. He zipped down Lost Juniper Wash, galloped over Dudley’s Cutoff, flew up Dead Cow Wash, and then once we crossed the flats and dropped down onto Bilbo trail he picked up more speed, and once we got into Frodo wash, he super-powered up it, alternating between a BIG powerful trot and a smooth ground-eating pace. He huffed and puffed and I thought he’d be tired enough to trot (or walk) up the big hill out of the wash, but oh no, he hit the uphill trail in an outright Secretariat sprint to the top of the hill.
Some days he likes being totally macho bad ass and some days I can’t stop laughing in utter/pure delight/bliss/glee after a ride on my Standardbred. I love this horse!
(Alternate title, in Standardbred racehorse superstar terms, would be Channeling Brett Hanover)