Annie is a jealous creature, so I had to put up a little something about her to balance all that Sebastian talk. She is a very petite (about 14.2) Tennessee Walking Horse that I have had since she was three and just barely started under saddle.
Here she is, exiting a stump:
She is a very naturally gaited horse, which is good since I had only ridden one other gaited horse before I got her. I figured I would just get a smooth horse that could pack guests and the husband down the trail. Hah! Turns out there is a bit more to training a horse to gait well than I understood (as a side note- it does not involve manipulating hoof angles, weighting feet or using painful bits). Luckily I had some excellent help- first from David Lichman out in Sacramento, then from Susan Dockter in Oakdale. David helped me understand how to help Annie gait, Susan helped me get her canter back after all that gaiting turned it into a four-beating disaster.
Annie is a combo of sensible and fidgety. When she is relaxed or well focused, which is most of the time, she is the most fun horse I have ever ridden. When she is stressed she is either super forward or, when tied and stressed, pawing. On the sensible side she is a trail pony extraordinaire. She has the confidence to do all kinds of strange obstacles and is very game to try things. Here are some videos of her at the Running I Ranch, a fabulous place to train your trail pony up in Dunnigan, California. This was us a couple of years ago. She was about 6.
Annie was raised in the hot central valley of California. She enjoys water. Up to the eyeballs enjoys it.
She is also pretty excellent at giving pony rides. Here you see the canter Susan fixed.
These shots were a couple of years ago. There was some lovely morning fog and sunshine through the Redwoods.
This year I am focusing on Sebastian, so Annie will be ridden some but mostly she will be ornamental. Doesn’t she do that well?