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Author Topic: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.  (Read 1042 times)

melissah

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Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« on: June 02, 2014, 05:30:49 pm »

The idea of keeping a journal of one's own journey is invaluable. I know for me, looking back at my adventure is priceless and while some (mostly men)will not take the time because they are "live-in-the-moment" types, I thought keeping a journal for my husband and his horse Storm would be a  story book tale of a man and his horse. I can’t help but think this is a real success story with a new chapter every passing day. 
Let’s start at the beginning.  First, a man must have the need grow in him in some form. He must see the evidence and then it’s at that point the seed can grow. That evidence was the smiles that grew on Hannah’s and my face each time we rode.  I guess we couldn't hide the pure rapture horses gave us.  You couldn't hide the bond, the love or the pure joy we felt as we ran brushes over their bodies or laughed as we cantered up a hill. And all the while my husband rode his mountain bike. He started to realize he wanted what we had. It wasn't long before he traded in that mountain bike for a 4 legged, 1000 lb animal.

And that is when we introduced the world to Ridin’ Out the Storm, a coming up 10 Tennessee Walking horse.  Two things my husband fell in love with…..his coloring and his smoothness. I hopped on him and he was as smooth as glass. I been on my share of Walkers but never on one you didn't have to really work for to get a gait. He was wonderful and quiet.

There is so much to say about Storm but for now…..I’ll let the story unfold. Later we can discuss specifics and wow the crowd. This is the beginning to great things. There is a partnership flowering, taking shape and unfolding.

On May 17th Storm left us and made the 4 hour haul to trainer Hope Adams who has been a gaited trainer for over 30 years. She is where I bought my MFT Mercy. David was so impressed with my mare he knew only good things could happen when I suggested we take Storm to her. Storm was a mystery and we really didn't know a lot about him or what he knew. It was important to have him evaluated especially for my beginner husband, my rank beginner husband. He has some issues and they needed to be addressed. More on those as time goes on.  My husband’s biggest fear was Hope would work with him for a couple of weeks and after careful evaluation would tell my husband he was just too much horse for him.  So far….it’s not even a thought in Hope’s mind now that she has worked with Storm and my husband. In fact, as I noted in past threads/journals…..we got the Hope Adams seal of approval on Reggie and Storm. She really likes both horses.  In fact, David was very proud of his boy when Hope told him yesterday her and the couple of girls who help train could not help themselves and took Storm out on the trail and opened him wide up into his famous rack. She also videoed Storm so she could put it up on her website to show what a good rack looked like. She told David this with a sheepish grin and twinkle in her eye! 

After 2 weeks at her place we both drove up and stayed in a Motel 6 and had about 3-4 hours each day with her and Storm. I’ve also booked the next two weekends as well.  It’s unbelievable how much he has changed in 2 weeks.  David can’t wait to get him home again. It looks like we’re going to make that June 21 group ride after all.  And for those who don't know Storms size....he is about 15hh...husband is 5'7 so both good sizes for each other.


Here is Storm's lineage. This always tells you about a horse.
http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/ridin+the+storm+out

Here is Storm 2 weeks later. He really had no clue as far as lunging when he got there. This is Hope the trainer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNBCLPJKGcw

David lunging Storm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8CgI12z6uM

Lunging across obstacles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNRVJn5eARU

David riding the arena
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVl5ltc1pAk

David doing the outside obstacles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Irv8Jm5OFH8

At the end of that lesson David rode Storm back to the tie rail. Hope came up in her golf cart and told him don't stop him and get off there. Move him to another area to dismount. Well, David decided to have a discussion with Storm. Horse didn't want to go somewhere else to dismount and decided to throw a tantrum. Right near Hope's brand new , still had dealer plates on it truck. So after about 10 minutes of fussing...David won. Storm "settled" and gave a huge sigh and blew out his nostrils. Stood stock still and a little bit after David dismounted. I think David likes the challenge. Hope even told him he had good equitation. His biggest fault right now is looking down where he is going when he rides. That's a habit from years of hardcore dirt bike riding and having to watch where that front tire goes, but we're on that!

On Sunday we got there and she asked if I was wearing riding clothes. It was play date time in the arena then a trail ride. So I got to ride one of her Mares named Candy, a little MFT. I never go anywhere that has horses and not wear my riding boots!

Some pictures from the weekend.

Trainer working with Storm.


David working with Storm









David Riding...the smile says it all


My little mare I rode


trail riding




Hanging out with others






« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 06:47:42 pm by melissah »
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melissah

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Re: Ridin' Out the Storm......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 06:19:14 pm »

Ha! Wrote to Hope about some feed issues and got an email back....and in it...and I shall quote.... "Dave is is getting horse smarter fast ... Storm has met his Match .. !! "
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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 04:26:57 pm »

Another amazing weekend. Each weekend Storm and David get better and better. Storm no longer has David's number.....David has Storm's number. Hope is very impressed at how quickly David is learning and Storm as well. Give my husband the right tools to work with and he can do anything. Hope knows David will bring his horse home and only positive things will happen. She keeps telling us she sees the commitment in David and his WANT to do this and do it right. We plan to bring Storm (or as Hope calls him...Stormin' Norman) home this coming Saturday. Then she advised us to bring him back in another 2-3 months for an upgrade, lol. The never ending learning process. I've taken in so much too. She is guessing it will take this horse a good year to really get to where he needs to be. We've had a blast with her this last 30 days. We both have learned so much. I took pictures of all her obstacles so we can run to Lowe's and buy supplies to make our own and more.

Some pictures from this last weekend.











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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 10:35:16 am »

David got in early from work yesterday so he was lucky enough to get out and work Storm some. It was not 5 yet so I still had to work. But after 5 I ran out and watched and took a few pictures. He started with ground work then rode around the turn out a bit. Mercy & Reggie had gotten their shots yesterday so I didn't ride. Wow, she is awful this morning. Doesn't look like she feels good. The one thing I hate about shots. My husband and Storm and doing great. Can't believe the change that horse has gone through....a 360! Night and day. David is dead set on working with him and not letting him take advantage and he doesn't. Storm has tried but he realizes "papa" is not going to let him. Yeah, who's got who's number now? LOL



These are the scary trees in the background. Mostly during the windy hours. Those leaves make lots of noises. And scary boogie men live in them! As well has the ravens the size of Texas!

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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2014, 12:47:54 pm »

Been a while since I wrote an update about a man and his horse. I am so proud of him! Actually in awe of the team/partnership that is being forged. My beginner husband on a not so beginner horse but mostly because he is very forward. Storm was a horse that only knew one speed on the trail or on the lunge line. 0-900 MPH was it. Now David has him doing what speed he ask of him. A walk....even slower or fast on the lunge line. He also has been flexing him on the ground. This was a stiff horse. Now he has been transformed into a relaxed horse who is not afraid to lower his head on the trail and stop and smell the flowers. A horse that only wanted to be first is now happy being first, middle or last. He goes the speed he is asked. He can go like his hiney is on fire or do a dog walk. We all tend to ride in a nice working walk and cover some ground.

His new thing is opening the back gate to ride out. It's no easy task. I don't even open gates! It's a heavy slider that does not ride on a track but through the sand. He has to unlock and unchain it then slide it open on horseback. And he never even practiced. He just said, "Let's go out and I'll open the gate!" Yes, when my husband really wants something he puts 150% into it. He loves his horse. He is really starting to understand whet Hannah and I had for the last 10 years.

Here is him yesterday as he opened the gate. I took some pictures and a couple of the gate so you see what I am speaking of.




Leaving for our ride........







and back...closing the gate




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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 11:13:56 am »

Gaining trust................one of the issues David has struggled with is Storms walking ability. He has a big 'ol camel walk so sometimes he doesn't feel quite as secure as he should on him. I tell him Storm is fine and is finding his footing. All he has ever done was going in circles in the arena. And these California desert trails are a bit different than where he came from. He is getting it...Storm not David. He is starting to watch where his feet go and therefore David's trust is building up. Yesterday we went riding again after work. He wanted me to video him coming down our back hill on Storm. He says it feels like he goes too fast. But I don't think so. Not for that hill. I came down a bit faster on Mercy and Reggie always goes up and down hills very slow. Sometimes it helps to see yourself on camera.

Storm and David coming down the hill....Hannah following. It's not a steep hill by no means.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUvjQHldUNo&list=UUXJRP6aAkPY1VPVFbttwzsw
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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 01:10:12 pm »

Took some video of David and Storm. It was windy last night (see all the trees?) The cypress trees are not scary but Storm sure does not like the area to the right of the corrals.When it's windy Storm sees horse eating monsters over there. Lots of big trees and sounds from that neighbors yard. Even on the trail the wind is his boogey man. Mercy and Reggie don't seem to mind the wind but Storm will take time to get use to it. He's got no choice because it's ALWAYS windy here.

VIDEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeDwWFYHHwg&feature=youtu.be
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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2014, 06:38:41 pm »

Storm needed more room. He's a very forward horse and I think he is use to a bigger area than we can give in Socal. So we searched Craigslist and found some panels for sale and bought them. We drove out to Leona Valley today and bought 2 12' panels making his stall 24 x 24 whereas before it was 12 x 24. So Hannah and David put them toge

ther. Much better. All the horses are turned out most of the day. We just put them in their stalls at night. He has not been falling into REM sleep and noticed he was starting to go down from no sleep. I think he does not feel quite safe sleeping during the day so we made his stall bigger. I am hoping this works for him.  Reggie and Mercy lie down quite a bit and snooze, Storm does not.

The process.








Finished

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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2014, 03:09:15 pm »

David and Storm went out today, What a difference all that flexing/bending does. We have a more relaxed horse on the trail than before. Big difference. But it was getting hotter by 10 AM so we only went out for 2 hours. We wanted to explore more but the heat really gets too hot and our daughter does not do well in the heat. Next week we'll get out earlier.

David and Storm today, a very relaxed horse.

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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 08:29:10 am »

David got home late last night and with the sun going down sooner each day he wanted to ride. So he walks through the gate and says, "who wants to watch me get on without any ground work first?" So he saddled up and off he went. And Storm was perfect. Had a lot of go in him but that's Storm.  This is NOT typical but with the sun going down he had to make due. I think he did do one circle each way before he got on but he usually does a lot more on the ground than that. I think Storm wanted to be ridden. I think horses (some) really do enjoy it. And he would walk slow by the                        G A T E....yes, around the horses we spell it out! haha. Funny animals. They are dying to get out the gate and dying to get back in when coming home.

And Storm leaves November 8 for his second round at the trainers. Which means we will be spending weekends in wine country again.
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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2014, 03:34:23 pm »

What an amazing adventure these two have been through together. I've watched a horse with no respect, no ground manners and just plain rude turn into one heck of a horse! And the most exciting part is a beginner did it all. Not once did my husband ever feel like giving up or he took on too much horse. Frustration? Of course what rider hasn't felt any of that. Storm is the kind of horse if you give him an inch, he takes a mile. So David has never given him an inch. And people around us notice the David/Storm relationship. Many are in awe he was a "first horse" but some men are just fearless. I know from experience, starting to ride as an adult can be scary. Was my husband nervous when he started? Of course, but not anymore. Storm came to us with the need for speed, high strung and a big motor. Now he goes as fast or as slow as asked. Yep, Storm still loves to move out and we do. He was stiff as a board too. David took his CA skills he learned and taught him to flex, first one the ground, then under saddle. And this made all the difference on the trail. He's a relaxed horse now. He stands still when mounted (use to want to just take off).

But he's still a work in progress. He still has a road to go down with his competitiveness to get in front of every horse. And he still stops like a freight train. I think this will get better with time and it has.....

Storm leaves Saturday for 30 more days. More working on his stopping and competitive nature. And whatever else we feel he needs to learn...or should I say David learn. So our mini vacations are back again. Head out on Saturdays to do lessons both days and spend the night at a Motel 6...nothing fancy. Maybe hit a casino or wine tasting.....fun! I love wine after riding.

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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2014, 12:57:48 pm »

Well, Storm left Saturday. And yep, David already misses him. He's got some tweaking he needs done and Hope will do it. I always love going as well because I come away learning so much. David and I are already excited about this upcoming weekend. David felt so good at all the compliments he got about how he's been doing and they just keep getting better together. Hope was impressed. He even had a proud moment when she told the other woman who was there also getting a lesson, "I'd put this horse up against any horse I have right now as far as being the fastest. " And she always has 20 in training at one time...never no more than that though. Good thing she has her gals helping.


Here is David's final ride....well until next weekend. More adventures to follow.............





Hope discussing a few things with David. In the background you can see one of her gals working with a horse that had just got in that day. I asked about all her horses, how does she get them. She is not a broker. She does not buy to resell. All her horses there are for training and the few for sale are clients horses. She does not board either. She had this really cute buckskin named Heath come in when we were there in April for training. It was a few months later I seen him for sale on her site. I guess the horse was not the right fit for the owner so she sold her another horse or traded or??? who knows. This horse in the background is a TWH whose family does not ride anymore but their 8 year old daughter wants to ride. Horse is too much for the 8 year old so Hope is working with the horse and if it does not pan out....I'm sure will sell for her client. My Mercy was a clients horse......sent for training and then for whatever reason decided to sell her. Glad she did. But Hope really loves Reggie and Storm so that makes us all happy.

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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2014, 12:30:45 pm »

November 8th we took Storm back to Anza for another 30 days. Never hurts to have a refresher or just to polish things up. Plus David needed a refresher as well. He was starting to get a bit lax with Storm due to the fear of being too hard on him. But what he must always remember with Storm is if you give him an inch....he will take 300 miles. I can't say Storm is "a lot" of horse as much as he is a very forward horse. Hope our trainer refers to him as an adrenaline junkie. She says you have to get hard with them before they get soft. That is 100% true in the case of Storm. That horse is the sweetest of them all. Not one mean bone in his body. And he has a lot of try in him. Turns out he is a little slow in learning but does eventually get it. My best guess is his first 6 years of his life were all about covering mares and racking in circles in the show ring. Don't think people asked much of him as long as he was winning in the show ring and making some nice babies. Now it's time for him to slow down and enjoy the wide open trail and learn to stop and smell the roses. Does he love to gait and fast. Yes! Every time we've been to Hope's she brags that Storm is the fastest horse she has. David loves that fast glide ride. Yes, Mercy and Reggie do have a hard time keeping up. We might as well have quarter horses compared to Storm.  ;D

Hope really worked on half halts because Storm has a tendency to rush up and down hills and thus causing him to root. THAT is Storm's biggest issue, his rooting. Give it time she said, he will eventually stop. David now has the tools he needs to keep going on. And he can get very competitive with Reggie. But Hope thinks Storm and David have really made a break through this time. She said whatever David has been doing at home has really slowed him down. Good! Plus we worked on turning on the forehand and haunches. Side pass comes when he has those down perfect but we could not resist playing with side passing. Hope says he knows all this now and it's up to David to be consistent.

And of course video and pictures! There is nothing as rewarding than to look back at one's journal and see how far we've come. We are getting close to the one year anniversary of having all our horses. And I am proud of how far David has come.

Besides rooting and rushing he needed to learn to stay off the horse in front without a huge nasty fight. This was first week of training there. Storm is quite a distance back where he needs to be.


Putting up a bit of a fight because he wants to rush




Trainer working Storm down a small hill to keep him from rushing through the bit/rooting or face planting over a ditch. Not Hope on him but one of her girls.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARs74AepvF4&index=18&list=UUXJRP6aAkPY1VPVFbttwzsw

Hope on Candy explaining roll backs. Candy is a MFT mare that after 3 years has come back to AA Ranch. And as Hope said....they never come back the same.   ??? I ride Candy when I visit and don't have Mercy with me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vPM7kAIWhs&list=UUXJRP6aAkPY1VPVFbttwzsw

Hope explaining about rooting and fighting with the horse. David explains he sees riders doing this all the time. Not the right way to go about it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfU2opcOBZc&list=UUXJRP6aAkPY1VPVFbttwzsw

Hope teaching David to back around the pole. Don't hit the cones. She says the middle is the instructor and the cones are children lol "He just runs through the bit because you're letting him." yep..............
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oXk9o_aSYo&list=UUXJRP6aAkPY1VPVFbttwzsw

Moving front and rear. Storm has learned to ignore....Hope had to actually get off her horse and use force to move his rear. Of course I did not get that on video!  :o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqV4AkwA5sg&list=UUXJRP6aAkPY1VPVFbttwzsw

Hope on Candy showing side passing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBpj3esprqo&list=UUXJRP6aAkPY1VPVFbttwzsw

David learning to side pass.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjFRyyC9pm0&list=UUXJRP6aAkPY1VPVFbttwzsw

Pushing the barrels....how they train the police horses for crowd control. David was more curious more than anything,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AaKV0GcdhU&list=UUXJRP6aAkPY1VPVFbttwzsw

And one shot Hope said is one of her favorites. I will add later as Photobucket is bring a pain!


« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 12:38:19 pm by melissah »
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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2014, 10:22:02 am »

IT'S A FIRST AND CAUGHT ON FILM!

Almost a year and we have never seen Storm lie down. So yesterday I looked out my office window and seen this. And of course I kept an eye on him because of my own paranoia! OMG HE'S SICK! But no....he finally feels at home! Mercy and Reggie lie around all the time but never Storm. That's why we decided to extend his stall out. Give him that feeling of security. One of those nice siesta's....nose on the ground.


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melissah

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Re: Ridin' the Storm Out......A Man and his Horse.
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2015, 10:14:25 am »

I was out feeding and mucking this morning when I started thinking about how long my husband has had Storm and how far they've come. I guess it's because him and I got into a conversation a few days ago about how much confidence he had acquired over the last year. He laughed as he thought back when he started trail riding after spending a month with Storm at the trainers. He was so afraid to look left or right. Afraid to turn around and talk to us. His body was tense and he was often sore most likely due to the tension in his body. The first few months were a nightmare as he tried to learn himself or from watching us. And I being the wife, didn't want to throw my 2 cents in. You know how men can be. Storm had horrible manners and knew how to drag David around. Knew how to get him off his back. Pretty much put the fear into David. He was almost ready to give up until I finally told him he needed professional help. He needed lessons and he needed to take Storm for a good 30 days. Best money ever spent.

I kept telling him about "muscle memory" and how riding becomes "natural." You still "ride" your horse but there is a calm that wasn't there before. It's just something you can't explain until you reach that point yourself. At the last huge group ride he actually draped the reins across the horn while changing the GoPro battery as they walked. Not the safest thing but Storm wasn't going anywhere THAT DAY. He can always read Storms outlook on the day when he starts to ride him. He was lazy that day, well, as lazy as Storm can be. He laughed thinking back to riding and talking at the beginning. Now he just goes along and turns to look backwards to chat with someone or grabs his phone or water (which I don't care what anyone says-horses KNOW when you are doing something just like a kid does and will often misbehave). These are simple things he would not even had ever thought about doing a year ago.

But still....like we all do on occasion is face a fear or two we have to be strong enough to admit we actually feel. Last camping trip the trails were muddy so we avoided the bad ones. We got into a ravine that went straight up on each sides and you could see it could be deep or slippery. Storm was behind us and wanted to be in front. Storm doesn't get what he wants to do. David is in charge of his feet....for the most part. That day Storm decided to go up that steep incline. It was probably a 6 foot hill but steep. David panicked....he admitted later and let him. He didn't want to fight him in that small area and get us hurt. So there he was at the top. He was afraid to take Storm down the hill in that slippery mud, afraid he might face plant into the other side. I told him simple! Get off Storm and walk him down. NEVER EVER be afraid to get off your horse if you have your doubts about something. Better to be safe than sorry so the saying goes. I'm glad my husband had nothing to prove. He got off his horse and walked down into the ravine. And he makes it look so easy getting on from the ground! Yes, I'm jealous. He's got 60 lbs on me but can get right on like nothing. Ever since my knee's got worse I just can't do it unless I find a berm, log or something of the sort. Maybe I need to do squats.

They've become a great team. Storm will never be an easy horse to ride but David would have been bored with any other horse fit for a beginner. That's not the way to say it....Storm is a horse you have to "ride."

 
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