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We Are Flying Solo

November 2, 2012

The Guestest With The Bestest

I am proud to introduce you to Amber, who humoured me and has written a guest blog for us today.  She contacted me through email about my woeful longings for Solo to have a job again and to get him back into shape.  We had our first meeting this past Sunday and she is fantastic.  Not only does she have a lovely seat and posture, she got the Solo seal of approval, a list which only has two people on it, AND she's just a fun person!  Perhaps my red love boy is finally relaxing and learning that its ok to trust the people I bring him.  He thoroughly enjoyed his job as caretaker and Amber very quickly re-found her balance and rhythm.  I couldn't be more excited and proud for my beloved shiny horse and so happy and grateful to have met such a great person.
Without further ado, take it away, Amber! 
Everything. Hurts. And it’s glorious.  I couldn’t be happier to be this stiff and sore!  It’s so completely worth it for the experience of riding Solo. And I guess a statement like that begs for some background information.
While I haven’t left comments on this blog, I’ve lurked in the background for a while.  I’d sit reading away every morning when I got to work; yes I was procrastinating.  It was just a nice window into a sport I enjoyed in my teens.  I stopped riding about 15 years ago and pretty firmly closed the door on that part of my life. It’s funny how horses manage to creep back into your heart and your life, sometimes when you aren’t expecting it at all. One morning I read Brena’s blog post about Solo needing some attention and exercise, and all of my casual thoughts of getting back into eventing became this uncontrollable urge to start fresh with this horse. It’s the Solo magic I think. Before I knew it, I was emailing like a complete creeper to see if this stranger would let me ride her horse.  Imagine my surprise when instead of a restraining order, I received an email response! Brena has been immensely generous with her time, expertise, and her shiny wonder boy.
I drove up and was privileged to ride Solo this past Sunday.  Of course when I first saw him, Solo was running around his pasture screaming and performing aerial maneuvers I haven’t seen outside of a Royal Lipizzaner Stallion performance [eventer79 notes:  Encore was on the hotwalker and Solo disapproved and there was a cold wind blowing up his tail].  I just looked at Brena as she laughed and said “that’s my broken horse”. I’ll admit, I definitely had a moment of questioning my sanity as I watched him gallop and buck. As soon as he realized we were coming to get him though he settled right down. It was awesome to see his happy face as he received some well-deserved attention from his minions. Solo is very expressive, and it was easy to see he enjoys having people fawn over him.

Wait till she gets to do this...  Damn, he looked good then!
As I scrambled aboard he was a saint, and definitely babysat me as I exhibited amazing feats of clumsiness and a complete lack of coordination.  It is simultaneously humbling and hilarious to ask your muscles to do things that they haven’t even considered for 15 years. My brain said one thing and my body did something completely different! I’m so grateful that Solo took such good care of me, and I know he most definitely took pity on me because I really doubt any of my cues were very effective.  I’m also grateful that Brena is willing to allow me to ride His Shine-ness, and I look forward to the both of us slowly getting back into shape. Who knows, maybe someday you guys will see us out doing a maiden course somewhere. But for now, Sweet Heavens to Betsy…I am a bowlegged mess, and this is several days later! I’ll take being this horribly sore any day if it means I’ve been out riding.


  1. Super cool! So glad Solo has a person to play with. Sounds like a good deal for everyone.

  2. When I was taking intermittent lessons in college, I loved that sore-legs/abs feeling, because it reminded me that I rode that weekend. This sounds like a very cool new friendship, assuming Amber is not a vampire. Actually, that might still have its perks. ;)

  3. I remember the first lesson I took after taking about 5 years off... I felt like a hot mess on that poor horse... and I had to cancel my next week's lesson because I was actually still in too much pain! LOL!

    Happy new partnership!

  4. I don't think she's a vampire -- they are usually pretty lame and she is most definitely not. I'm hoping she and Solo can both get back to awesome!

  5. Aww, thanks! I'm FINALLY walking like a normal person...sort of. Just in time to do it all over again, lol! No self-respecting vampire would be this sore and out of shape. They'd be all super smooth and athletic instead of limpy and awkward. Plus, I love me some garlic!

  6. This must be so exciting for everyone involved. It always makes me so happy when someone can ride bre and enjoys her. I keep thinking I will find someone who can ride my shiny red horse. Good luck to everyone! I think amber is going to need her own blog!

  7. LOL, love the "guest blog"! Glad Mr. Solo Shinypants has a new minion, er, human, to pony about and experience his awesomness :)

  8. I let her off the longe line today and left her to Solo's wiles. She did a great job, although I fear she will hate me soon if I keep torturing her like this....

  9. It's good I may retract that statement tomorrow! :)

  10. Ahahhaa -- it's not every riding lesson you get to be tied up.

  11. WOW - nice post and nice job with taking up the reins of the orange boy! I'm sure you are both going to benefit.

    Regarding the soreness, I have a couple of hints. I'm very much a "weekend warrior" type of rider myself (not by choice, by pocketbook) so when I do get to mount up I'm usually destroyed for days afterwards. What I've found to be helpful are Advil BEFORE and after, lots of stretching before, and most importantly, hydrating with Gatorade before and after. The Gatorade alone seems to make a huge difference.

    I also have a roll-on bottle of some great stuff called Bio-Freeze. A chiropractor's office or pharmacy might have it near you. Similar to BenGay (it's got menthol) but works better and no stuff on your hands!

    Good luck and have fun - I sure am jealous.