I have had the privilege to spend the last 3 days at Darling Farm in Princetown, KY, hosted by NRHA Professional Horseman Keith Tidmore, his fiance Michelle, and the rest of his fantastic team. They have recently relocated to the old Hilldale Farm, and under the new ownership of Ricky Darling, are in the process of developing a training and breeding establishment that will be the envy of the horse world.
The highlight of my stay was the chance to see ridden and to ride the AQHA stallion Tuckers Lil Playboy. He has earned over $40,000 NRHA and 24 AQHA points. He is by Elans Playboy out of Pocita Senorita by Smart Chic Olena.
After being warmed up by Michelle, they asked if I would like to ride him. Despite the fact that I was in extreme pain with inflammation from RA, I immediately took them up on the offer. After loping a few fast and slow circles, backing up and turning him around (spins), Keith asked if I was really, really brave. Well, in reality, I'm not! In fact up until earlier last year I wouldn't have dreamed of mounting a horse that I hadn't ridden a 1000 times. Thanks to RA my attitude has changed though, because who knows if I will ever get the opportunity to do these things again. Better do it today because tomorrow I may not be able to. So I lied, and said I was really, really brave!
Keith stepped up and removed his bridle! He hung it on the saddle horn and handed me a rein passed under Playboys neck. He instructed me to ride with my legs and weight and do all the same things I had just done. I walked off, then stopped him and backed him to make sure I could, then we were off into a fast lope! What an exhilarating feeling to trust the horse so much! He could have done anything he wanted but he loped circles like he was on rails. Slid to a stop, backed 20 steps and spun right and left like the Champion he is!
I will never forget that feeling as long as I live. Thank you Keith and Playboy for opening my eyes to both my ability and confidence which lurks somewhere underneath!
Allie has ridden Trigger Bridleless before, and who knows, maybe I'll give it a go on him. Here I come Stacy Westfall!