Thursday night, it was out to Barn 2. I was really, really, really looking forward to this lesson, since I had graduated to another horse. I didn’t know which horse, but it would be a new horse. It’s always exciting to ride a new horse. I bundled up, grabbed my iPod, and off I went, a little earlier than normal because I was full of anticipation.
When I arrived, I learned that I would be riding Arnold. He’s 5, and he is the horse that almost fell on his face a few lessons ago. He also had blinkers on, which isn’t usually a good sign. Blondie certainly goes better in them, but that’s because she’s a chicken shit. Arnold is also kind of squirrely, and he feels like he’s going to jump out of his skin at any moment. I haven’t ridden a challenging horse like this in a long time. He’s different from Ritz, whose canter just freaks me out. She will just go along, if you let her, with no problems what so ever. Arnold is jumpy and surgy and everything that pretty much terrifies me as a rider.
He used to be a 5-gaited horse, though most of time he didn’t feel like a 5-gaited horse. His trot was nice and reasonable – until S had me open him up and let him trot like a 5-gaited horse. I was pretty much hanging on for dear life at that moment, wondering why I still don’t have enough control of my balance to ride effectively at speed.
Arnold’s canter was quite lovely, which was a surprise. For a horse that goosed at least once each time around the arena, all in different spots, I expected something more chargy and scary. Nope, his canter was smooth and slow, which was a relief because we cantered a lot.
This was an exhilarating ride – it was tough and hard, hard work. When I got off, I was tired and sweaty. The sweat had soaked through three layers of clothes! Ick! I’ll take the sweatshirt off if I ride him again next week.