So let me tell you about my best-friend and sometime’s co-author here on the blog. Michelle is pretty much a certified badass IMO. She might not tell you that herself but honestly let me just review my favorite fun details about my blonde counterpart.
- Home girl has done just about everything. Literally has trained up to the Grand Prix
- She did it on an incredibly opinionated & challenging Oldenburg gelding (Roux)
- Back in 2011 they won….
- Champion – Region 3 Junior Rider 4th Level Championship
- Res. Champion – Region 3 Junior Rider Prix St Georges Championship
- Then in 2012….
- Champion – Region 3 Junior Rider Intermediate Championship
- Back in 2011 they won….
(Sadly they never made it to the ring to compete a Grand Prix test.)
- She’s currently bringing along her young FEI prospect (Sulley)
- Um, Roux almost died and somehow (with Michelle’s help) not only pulled through but recovered to be sound enough to be ridden AND THEN was schooling upper level movements in a lesson with her trainer recently.
Grade. A. Badass. Equestrian.
She’s also literally one of my favorite people to talk to when I’m frustrated or upset. She gives me advice when there’s not a lot of people I can turn to in my “inner circles” and though we’d just met when I discovered a sarcoid on Bella a couple of years ago, Michelle was the person I immediately texted pictures and panicked too. Friend soul mates are a thing right? Totally gotta be a thing. Because that’s us.
Going to Florida was great because J and I stayed with M-Shell and her boyfriend, and I finally got to go meet her boys in person. I was stoked (obviously) and I took pictures (obviously). This is probably the most equestrian thing to do on a vacation. Somehow find a way to go visit horses.
This is Sulley, her young guy. Does he not have the cutest cranky face? He’s been on stall rest for a while recovering from a minor (almost not even a thing) injury. I was pretty sad I didn’t get to see her ride him but I know there will be chances in the future. This guy has made Michelle work for literally every step forward but it’s not really his personality that makes her work for it. Sulley is awesome, Golden Retriever in horse form FYI, and if he weren’t do dang big (we’re talking literally moose sized) he’d probably be fine.
He’s way bigger than Michelle makes him look in the angle of these photos. Lets just say, ain’t no way we’re seeing over his back. He’s way attached to M-Shell though and while he let me give him kisses and scratches I’m no substitute for mom.
What neither Michelle or I had anticipated though was that her grumpy 20 year old, would like me. Roux is literally known to be highly opinionated. Talented, amazing, literally the worlds biggest superstar after coming back from mangling his leg to be sound under saddle, and going back into doing more intense work, but also sorta kinda the worlds most amusing jerk. Old and chill he is not, do not make the mistake of trusting that adorable face.
Me, with my love of jerk-face ponies, fell for it instantly. He’s a teddy-bear personified (cue the nickname Bear), but like most bears he’s not really a cuddler. He’ll tolerate Michelle, because mom’s do what they want, but I expected him to basically ignore me and/or try to eat me at some point. Nope. By day two at the barn he was letting me pet his face, give him kisses, and even got a little demanding that I resume my adoration of him when I would stop. It. Was. Amazing.
Not as amazing as watching her ride him though.
He’s TWENTY. Roux is literally a miracle horse and seeing him work the way he did was honestly just so amazing. Michelle has worked so hard with him over the years. From the time she was a kid really, and it shows off. Their partnership is amazing to watch and while I know she would have been (reasonably) happy to have him comfortable and never under saddle again, I am positive she’s elated every time she has to climb into the saddle (even when he decides to be a turd). Just watching her gave me some things I really wanted to go home and work on with Bella (instead we’re working on just getting her leveled out and figuring out why she’s being a cranky Punk instead of a happy Punk). Either way, I can’t believe this guy is as old as he is and has come back from the catastrophic injury he had. I’m so proud to call Michelle my best-friend and her boys my nephews. Roux is literal wonder pony, all the other wonder ponies can take a seat.
I have videos of them but unfortunately they’re refusing to load so you don’t get to see Roux doing lead changes but trust me, they were amazing.