In case there is anyone who doesn’t know – Katie decided to take Chaps back to school with her to join the collegiate team. While I disagree with the decision whole-heartedly, I’m not the owner so I have no say and I certainly don’t offer my two-bits because we all know how annoying that is. It’s the owners call. Can’t help that the owner is an idiot.
Cathy, the barn owner, offered to let me test drive a couple of horses this morning to see if I would like to lease either of them. Both are her horses that she has in training and for sale, but neither is being worked very much.
First up was this 8 year old TB names Jones. Nice boy. He does a lot of head tossing at the walk but as soon as you start trotting, he puts his head down and goes. He has very, very smooth gaits and really uses his rear end well. He canters better to the left, in the right direction he’s a bit off balance. Overall, he has the basics down but is unsure of himself and what he should be doing (the head tossing is his way of trying to find the contact because he knows it should be there but you’ve relaxed it a bit). I can tell much of his training will just be hours in the saddle, drilling and drilling until he feels confident that “oh, I’m supossed to put my head here ALL the time”. That kind of thing. And some ground manners, he’s a big baby and doesn’t realize he shouldn’t be quite so pushy.
The next horse I rode was Bling. Cathy told me which pasture she was in and said “she’s the biggest, fattest chestnut mare out there.” That she was. No joke, she’s got to be 1200 – 1300 lb. To give you an idea, I have the girth on Chaps on the fourth hole on each side and on her I couldn’t get it on. Fat. Not cute. Ugly head. And the kicker? She’s the spookiest damn horse!
It’s breezy today (no duh) and all the horses, including Chaps, looked at one corner of the arena suspiciously. There is a tarp on the other side of the wall so this seemingly normal corner now has flapping tarp noises they can’t see. But where as Chaps and Jones investigated, calmly, once and went about their business, Bling would have nothing to do with going near that corner. A couple of times I tricked her into walking calmly past it, but then the noise would spook her from behind. And she spooked at something going back out to the pasture.
So even though Bling is the better trained, more advanced horse of the two, I prefer Jones. I don’t like dealing with spooky horses. They un-nerve me. Geldings are so level-headed and Jones just handled things much better. Additionally, and more importantly, I’d like to try my hand at working with a greener horse and seeing how much and how well I can improve it. A mini-project for me and Jones seems like a very willing horse. He’s trained as a hunter and he’s got nice movement and in the end, I think he’ll be the flashier of the two. And I think my girth might fit him.
I’m going to do one last lesson on Chaps in about a week to work on my technique, and then I will begin riding Jones. Should be intersting. Except I think he stays in the field so I might have to go soon to Fleet Farm and get some rubber muck boots, which I was going to do anyway, just looks like sooner.