One of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me was when my neighbor, Gary, called to me from across the street. "Good morning, Cowgirl!" he said.
Gary, you see, is an older fellow who has a long, respected reputation as a working western rider. He has many a tale to share about his own life with horses. So when I hopped on Wally in his western saddle and picked up the pair of split reins, and Gary referred to me as a "cowgirl," I was honored.
And then, of course, I had to ride Wally the very next day in English tack, as you see here. But that's what's nice about Wally and other horses like him, the horses sometimes jokingly referred to as being all-around westlish horses. They're well trained western but they're also nice to ride English. What the heck, they'll even hop over a crossrail or low vertical jump if asked. While Wally will never step inside a show ring with me, I do enjoy riding him huntseat every now and then. It helps me recall the many years (okay, decades) I spent competing in huntseat equitation. Wally has a to-die-for sitting trot. Where was he when I was doing all those medal class work-offs?
And so, while I may treasure earning the accolade of "cowgirl" from my neighbor, I'll never let go of my huntseat past. Wally's just fine with that, too.
If you'd like to share a tale about your westlish horse-- or any other comment-- click on "comments" below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I love reading all your emails and comments!