horse pony this week is Code Blue, loved by the staff writer Meagan DeLisle!
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Sometimes the horses that touch our lives the most are not our own. That is how I feel about the not-so-tiny pony at my barn, Code Blue.
Small in stature, I often get tossed on ponies when I am short a horse to ride (no pun intended). This is how I came to know and love “Cody.” When my Joey was out of commission, I needed a horse to ride and Cody needed a rider. So I saddled up, all giggles over the fact that I had gone from a 17h speed demon to a large Blue Rain pony who was constantly low on fuel.
Cody has shown at some of the most beautiful venues in the Midwest, but has recently taken a step back (due to no fault of his own) to lesson pony extraordinaire. Everything about Cody was the opposite of what I was used to. Joey is fast, Cody is poky. Joey is tall and thin, Cody is short and wide. The list went on forever and I couldn’t help but think in the back of my mind that I could tolerate this new steed for a while, but I was ready to get back to Joey.
Oh, how wrong I was.
I quickly fell in love with the goofy, game-on pony who never gave a fence a second glance. We popped around courses with ease and despite his chunky stature, it was effortless for Cody. It had been so long since I had ridden another horse besides Joey, that I forgot how fun it can be to be learn the way different horses tick.
It was nice to take a step back and ride a horse… err, pony… that knew his job. Don’t get me wrong, retraining a horse is one of the most rewarding (and frustrating) things you could challenge yourself with. But it is easy to lose your focus on yourself in all of the shuffle. For the first time in a long time I felt as if I was improving as a rider. Riding became fun again.
Cody is one of those ponies who just brings a smile to your face. He is always there to great you at the stall door and he knows where the treats hide in your pocket. Like most gray ponies, he enjoys a nice mud bath every now and then, but at least he stands patiently while you try and curry out all the dirt clods from his coat. He is funny and quirky and one of the cutest ponies I know.
I could hop on Cody bareback or we could go for a leisurely trail ride around the farm. Whether we were contesting 2’9″ courses or just messing around in the indoor, Cody never balked or objected. He was down for whatever I asked of him. It’s horses with amazing personalities like Cody’s that bring the joy to riding and competing. I was heartbroken over the fact that I was, in fact, too old at 25 to show ponies as I had fallen in love with the goofy little gray.
All good things must come to an end and as happy as I was to have Joey back at home, I was a little sad that my time with Cody had come to a close. I still stop by Cody’s stall and love on him every day. He has returned to teaching our younger riders the finesse of the show ring and doing a slam dunk job of it. I am off pursuing larger fences and speedier horses, but I cannot thank Cody enough for the time we were together and the things he taught me; not only about my riding, but also about myself.
Cody brought the fun back into riding for me and reminded me of the main reason we do this: so we can smile.