Amidst the chaos and concern that descended on our beautiful island this month, something quite wonderful happened – Luna got her very own human.
After a period of getting to know each other, our talented Rancher Maria decided Luna was the horse for her. And after watching them work together, we could only agree.
Maria is a wonderfully committed and dedicated young rider with big ambitions while Luna is a young horse with huge potential. If ever there was a quality pairing, it’s these two pocket rockets.
For many of us here, the news has come as a ray of sunshine in these increasingly bleak times because Luna has always been our Ranch baby.
The offspring of our resident Appaloosas, the formidable stallion that is Shunka and the equally indomitable Inka (who is now chilling in her retirement home), Luna was born a wild-eyed and bushy tailed ball of energy – and stayed that way for most of her first year.
After she was weaned from mum, Luna moved into the foal paddock where she was taught a few equine manners by Uncle Lottie (Caroline’s retired dressage horse, Violottie B).
And slowly those handsome genes kicked in and we began to see the outstanding conformation that has made Shunka such a sought-after breeding stallion for the past 30 years. Yes, that’s 30 years!
After giving Luna time to enjoy life as a foal and a young horse, we slowly began her training. She was handled more, groomed and free lunged in her second year.
By her third year, she was a lunging pro and we began to introduce her to the world of tack, which, after annihilating her training bit, she took to quite quickly!
However, it was clear that Luna was nowhere near ready to be backed at this point. She was still too young physically and we were in no rush. So, we gave her more time and let her grow.
As it turned out, Luna was five before the decision to back her was taken and we did it quietly – with people she knew and trusted – so that her first experience would be interesting rather than stressful.
It was the right thing to do, in every respect, because having given Luna time to mature and fill out that little bit more, she took to work astonishingly quickly.
After schooling by Caroline, Luna was soon being ridden by some of our best young riders – Ella, Lana and Melina. Melina, especially did a fantastic job schooling Luna under the watchful eye of Caroline.
As Luna continued her schooling, it soon became apparent that this was no ordinary young horse. Naturally balanced with good paces and a noticeable, soft swing in her hindquarters even those who know about horses were surprised to find she had only been in work for months rather than years.
And we weren’t the only ones getting excited by what we could see because at the beginning of this year, Maria came to talk to Caroline about the possibility of focusing on dressage and riding Luna.
Physically, it was a good match, but great partnerships between horses and riders involve more than aesthetics – they have to match under saddle too. So, Maria started riding Luna under the instruction of Caroline. Happily, it was love at first ride!
Two months later, Maria turned 13, and her parents gave her the best present ever – Luna. For us here at George’s Ranch, it’s a fairytale ending for this chapter of our baby’s life.
Congratulations, Maria! We couldn’t be happier for the two of you.