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 all—I 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 day—but 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.
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. 😅