This Horse is a Good Horse

This Horse is a Good Horse

Back in the dark days just before 2017 ended and we welcomed 2018 with wide open arms, I rode with TrainerM. It was not quite a lesson, not quite a clinic, not quite anything at allI feel like I’ve entered a strange, ephemeral phase of my relationship with my trainers; that feeling probably deserves an entire blog post, so we’ll save that for another daybut anyways, I was on a horse and TrainerM said some words at me and the whole thing went okay, I guess, but I also left the entire experience feeling generally incompetent and ashamed of where my riding was at.

Then I went home and a couple days later I jumped my pony and it was fantastic, so.

I haven’t jumped a lot of horses, but as I drove home from the barn that day, I started to think of the handful of horses I’ve had the honor of riding over (very tiny) fences. I thought about how each one made me feel, about their strengths and weaknesses and the things I liked about the them and the things I didn’t like.

Belle was a perfect point and shoot pony, but she took a lot of leg and was pretty choppy.
Boston was super smooth, but my nerves made me feel like he was going to bail on me.
Ezhno was… well, bless his soul, he tried to keep his feet on the ground as long as possible.

So the other day, during my lesson/clinic that wasn’t a lesson/clinic, I climbed aboard a horse that wasn’t mine in a saddle that wasn’t mine and had one of my most disappointing rides ever. The horse I was on didn’t feel like he had a very big motor, but I couldn’t figure out how to get more horsepower from him and TrainerM kept chastising me for fussing too much. Then I ate dirt coming up to the cross rail when he suddenly bolted sideways out from under me. It was an easy fall and I didn’t feel mentally jarred at all (yay, go me!), but even when we did get over the cross rail I just… didn’t like it.

Everyone always says that riding different horses makes you a better rider, but here’s a secret: I don’t think I want to be a better rider. I hate riding horses that aren’t my horse. I like that he’s big, and smooth, and smart, and that his green bean nature means that sometimes I have to dig in and help him out. The tiny moments where he scares me are far outweighed by the times where he makes me feel so, so strong.

So I guess this whole blog post was just a long-winded way of saying that I like my horse. Go figure. 😅

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