Yesterday, I took my thoroughbred on a hunter pace. This is a marked trail ride that you try to do at the speed of a hunt. It is timed and the closest to the optimum time, unknown to the riders, wins. Everyone wears a number and there is a start judge and a finish judge. I've yet to do well. This time I was determined to finish in a "feel good" place.
My horse, Rustic, decided about a third of the way through that we were going entirely too slow. When I made him walk, he cantered in place, when I made him trot, he cantered almost in place, when I let him canter he sighed with contentment. "At last," I could feel him thinking, "she's gotten the message. Beautiful day, wonderful trails, it's time to thank God by using all the talent He's given us."
How did we place? In our minds we won the biggest smile and happiest horse award, definitely a "feel good" performance. In the minds of the judges, we were way too fast.