Joy of Flying

By Terry Golson

Are you and your horse doing what you love? After six good years with Tonka I stumbled onto a sport that he has told me is what makes him really happy. He likes to fly.

We’ve had fewer than 20 lessons over jumps. We’re sensibly staying at a low jump height of 18-inches. Tonka chooses to go higher. Here is a sequence from this week’s lesson. Note the enthusiastic tail swish at the end.




Tonka goes this big when we come into the fence “wrong” – too far out. If Tonka had his druthers we’d be jumping “wrong” every time. Too often, when I try to come in at the right distance, I misjudge and we get in too close. He doesn’t like that, but he keeps going. This horse makes me look good.


Occasionally, I manage to ride Tonka to the exact right takeoff spot.


“Exactly right” isn’t flying, and so it doesn’t generate that tail-flipping exclamation of joy, but it will give us longevity in this sport. And it will keep me in the saddle. We’re working on this compromise!

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