Galen is my guy, my partner and yes, sometimes we’re like an old married couple.
Galen was born here in 2000 and the idea was always that he would be for sale. He was a gorgeous color, great conformation, lovely gaits and I figured he’d find someone right away. Nope. As he grew up, he was still a beautiful color, great conformation and had lovely gaits, but I noticed his rather individualistic tendencies. Galen believes that he is right and to convince him otherwise takes a little bit of tact. As he grew, I realized this was not a horse for just anyone. Several potential buyers contacted me and after quizzing them about their experience, I told them I had other horses that would probably suit them much better.
So, Galen and I started working on all the things that young horses need to know. He learned each lesson in a flash, but then would wonder why he had to do it again. I had to figure out new ways to keep his agile brain involved in the lesson and not in figuring out new kinds of mischief. He proceeded to being backed with very little effort, although I had to always be totally involved in each lesson, or he’d come up and suggest other activities (chase the lunge whip, grab the lead-line, etc). He didn’t mind being backed at all, and I figure that he looked upon it as a whole new game. Probably some of his friends told him he’d get to go out and actually do fun stuff. He did learn most of the lateral movements at the walk before we went to trot and I made very, very sure he knew his halts. Very soon, we moved out on the trails and my good friend Wendy helped get him out there too. During his four year old year he mainly did trails, we went camping and towards the end of the year I took him in one limited distance ride. He was a champ, although it was obvious we needed to work more on that pesky standing for the vet stuff.
The next year Wendy took him to two limited distance rides and I took him to two. He did very well, keeping a good pace, pulsing down without any trouble and getting good vet scores.
In fact, during his first LD of the year, I rode with some much more experienced friends who said they’d go slow. Ha. They kept yelling back “How’s the horse?”. Horse was fine, I was toast. We ended up in the top ten and I couldn’t walk down steps for several days after. Galen was ready to continue, but I sure wasn’t. I decided after that that I’d ride MY ride from now on.
Unfortunately, during one ride he was hit by a runaway horse and this led to some back troubles. So, off to the chiropractor, vet and he got a year off. 2006 was a very busy one for me, with many foals being born, so he got to be a pasture potato, much to his disgust. Towards the end of the year, the chiropractor gave him an OK, so it has been back to slow work. We did our first ride in almost a year in October and he’s doing great. He loves getting out on the trail and insists he can do much more, but I want him to keep going for many years to come. We’ve done a few rides since then, but the weather has been pretty bad, so he’s mainly running his friends ragged and insisting that everything be done his way.
We have a tentative date set for our first 2007 LD ride, March 31 at Home on the Range. I’m sure he’ll be ready, we’ll see about me.
We’ve had a very quiet year, riding wise. Between breeding, foaling, kids and various other things, I just haven’t had the time to get Galen out there. We did the Home on the Range ride and he was fabulous in giving Ari and Callie confidence and he didn’t whine too much about how slow we went.
Since then, we’ve done some training rides and have been working on that boring dressage stuff (his words, not mine) in the arena. He still thinks we should just skip all that stuff and go right to trotting the trails, but I keep insisting that arena work is GOOD. I’m hoping that next year we’ll have a bit more time and can really get out there and do some rides. We’ll see!
Galen is doing really great, although today he’s feeling quite sore. He had some shots the other day and they’ve sure caught up with him. Poor boy couldn’t lower or raise his neck and felt that I should stand and itch his ears. So I did. Gave him some bute, put his hay in a hay net, told his buddy Andy to ‘behave’ and he’s feeling a bit better. Still pretty sorry for himself though!
We’ve been doing quite a bit of conditioning, although we still need more hill work as he gets half-way up and wants to slow down and eat. He’s fabulous on the flat though, ready to trot and canter for hours. We’re still working on drinking better on the trails and keeping his weight up (wish I had that problem!). Our first ride is coming up, so stay tuned.
We’ve completed two rides so far this year, a 25 at Grizzly and a 50 (!!) at Milwaukee Railroad Trail. We have many more planned as the year progresses. I have written a bunch and put up photos on this blog so check it out!
We completed another 50 mile ride at Klickitat Trek in Glenwood, WA and then did the Celebrate the Horse expo in Puyallup, WA on July 5th and 6th. Now, we’re going to take a break for a bit and then we plan on one more ride later this season.
It’s a new year and I have new goals in mind for Galen and I. He’s fit and fat (for him) and we’ve started doing a little bit of conditioning. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been cooperating very well—lots of snow!- so we’re really behind schedule. I’m planning for our first ride to be at Home on the Range, in Othello, WA on April 4th, assuming we can get an entry and assuming the passes are open! We’ll start with a LD ride, as his brother Ari will be debuting in his first LD with Monica Bretherton. Then, we’ll see. I’m working part time, on the weekends of course, and will have to juggle my work schedule with competitions. I wish I could just ride, but oh well!
We ended up doing two rides this year, Milwaukee Railroad Ride and Klickitat Trek. We did LD’s both times, as we had Monica Bretherton and Ari along (OK, Galen and I weren’t really ready for anything more than that either!). We top tenned at Milwaukee and finished Klickitat in the middle of the pack. I’m hoping that next year we will get more competitions in and I think we’ll do some arena work this winter.
Once again, it’s a busy year. We’ve made it to 3 rides so far and we’ll see if we get to any more. We did 2 50’s, where he did great, but I crashed at both rides. We finished, but only because Wendy and Galen pulled me through. I went down to a 30 at Klickitat, but we met a rock with our name on it, so didn’t vet through. Now, the kids are out of school and my services as a taxi driver, maid and general dogsbody are in great demand. We did do one dressage schooling show earlier this year and we’ll have to work on that some more over this coming winter. Galen continues to get better each year and I couldn’t ask for a better mount.
The year is almost over and it’s been a good one. WEG sort of took all my energy from July on, and I finally got back into the saddle in November. This winter, I’m ‘taxi-driver mom’, so I don’t know how much conditioning I’ll get in. Galen and I are making good use of the arena though, taking lessons in jumping. Who knows, maybe our next adventure will be some eventing!
2011—today—Read about our continuing adventures in my News Blog!