I think the best thing about having Presto added into the mix with Henry and me has been the amount levity he brings into everything he does. Henry is a real derp, and quite a cheeky little turd all on his own, of course, but when you just have one horse and you have a lot of riding and competition goals with said horse, sometimes things start feeling a little too… serious.

well, you know… sort of.

I’m definitely serious about all of this, don’t get me wrong. But I also have to be careful not to ever get too bogged down in the day to day drudgery, both for my sake and for Henry’s. He’s got a fantastic work ethic, almost too much “try” to be honest, and it would be really easy to burn him out if he couldn’t have time to just be a dork and have some no-pressure fun in our rides and interactions.

it’s like cirque du soleil around here

I am much the same in that I can get so hyper-focused that I forget to take a step back and just let it all go sometimes. I’ve gotten a lot better about this as my relationship with Henry has progressed over the years, because his mental health can be a bit delicate, and I’ve really had to learn how to balance everything for him.

really into poo-sniffing in his down time

Adding Presto into the mix has changed the dynamic a bit, and only for the better. This kid is something else. He is weird, he is goofy, he is cheeky, and he is obsessed with being as cool as Henry.

One of them always plays harder than the other, and it’s definitely not the 2yo…

They can’t live together, of course, because Henry is a grade A asshole of a pasturemate. He lives alone, and he likes it that way. But I do occasionally turn them out together for short stints so they can play (under supervision) because Henry, as much as he would like to deny it, freaking loves that kid. Well truthfully I think he just likes having something to chase and make rude faces at, and Presto is perfect for that because he would never dream of protesting Henry’s authority. Henry sure does love a power trip.


Sometimes Henry even fancies himself a Horse Trainer and tries out his roundpenning skills on the baby.

And Presto, bless his sweet little doofus heart, is almost just too pure and innocent for this world. He’s got a “WOW, WHAT IS THAT AMAZING THING?” and “OK SURE THAT SOUNDS FUN” approach to life that you can’t help but love. He’s a little bit like a 15.3h golden retriever.

Dis muh sandy noze, gimme boop.
Oh dat itchy
Whut dis? I smash! *smashsmashsmash*

I mean… how could you not be entertained? Everything that horse does, he does with joy.

And probably a healthy dose of naughty.

But mostly joy. He thinks everything is great fun.

I try to pony him at least once a week, rides where Henry pretends to be put out by the intrusion, but secretly loves because he gets to pin his ears at the dumb baby horse whenever Presto pulls any shenanigans. Henry relishes his role as the fun police. We go on long marching walks, usually with Henry in his sidepull, and sometimes with me bareback, and we just go explore and have fun. I look at Presto and I’m reminded that it’s not about today, it’s about the big picture, the long game. These long ponying walks that were originally meant for Presto’s benefit have really come to be of great benefit to all three of us.

I spend a lot of time dreaming of what this horse might be someday

Having Presto around has been so refreshing, and he’s a constant reminder to not get too bogged down in the day to day minutiae. Hitting a snag in Henry’s training? Oh well. Let’s take a couple days to back off, remove the pressure, go do something fun and goofy, and try again when we’re both in a better headspace. That approach pretty much always works for us.

Presto has brought a whole lot of levity and perspective into what can sometimes feel like a slog. It’s a treat to have him here, and it makes me so happy to watch him and Henry interact. I hope that I can always do my part to retain that adorably lovable golden retriever personality.

9 thoughts on “Levity

  1. I feel like this stage of maturity in training, where taking days off of spending long periods playing, took me forever to develop. I like seeing that highlighted, as it’s so hard for people like me who get really wrapped up in goals and progression. The horses always benefit from a bit of play.


  2. I love seeing your Presto updates. Watching him and Henry reminds me of the 2 year old that’s turned out next to my 12 year old lease horse, Bently. The 2 year old brings so much life to the farm, we joke he’s brought a few older horses back to life once he’s turned out next to them. Bently is obsessed with him too, and will literally ditch his hay to go play with the 2 year old.


  3. Young ones always mix things up and have a way of lightening the mood of the older ones around them. Doesn’t matter what species. Our puppies always gave the older dogs a second wind. One lived another four years when we had feared we had to put him down then and there…
    And watching aninals interact is one of my favourite pastimes. So much fun if they get along.
    I have to say, I am kind of shocked that Henry can buck and kick like that. I thought those little dolphin hops were it. Oh, and I am kind of even more shocked that Presto is two. When did that happen??? And he is looking so good. I think it is awesome that he has such a sunny disposition and takes everything in stride. Especially given his history. He will be so much fun as a riding horse because of this. His training will be quite adventurous, I think….


  4. I call Niko “my big dog” because he has that type of personality! He’s kind of in your pocket and loves attention. He’s usually silly and goofy and sweet — I just absolutely adore it.


  5. Aw, I love this. It’s nice to have horses that are just a joy to be around. That’s Foster for me, and I hope Jack will figure it out eventually.


  6. I agree :), having a young one that has just learnt to pony next to my sass pot of a mare makes things so much more fun. Knowing that 2 days a week are ponying days (rehab plan for young one too) means I don’t feel like I just drill school my all too kind sassy mare.

    I think you’ve got a better blend of 2 geldings vs 2 diva mares 🙂


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