So, since I’ve been cut back on the amount of riding I can do (besides hacking with my best pony ever), Courtney let me come over last weekend to ride her fantastic horses!
Courtney lives on a cute farm that has the most beautiful fall backdrop behind her arena this time of year. We first took Pony Man on a spin. She’s had pony since he was a yearling. He’s five now, but very mature for his age. He’s not naughty at all, mostly just curious as he tries to figure out exactly what you’re asking him to do. Courtney hopped on first and got him warmed up before I took him for a spin.
He is a pony though, and my balance was tested, but I managed not to get unseated this time. I even took him over a cross-rail. Good pony!
I forgot how hard it is to ride a pony!!
Next we took our her two mares, an Appaloosa named Vintage and an OTTB named Berry. We first took them for a hack and gallop around her neighborhood before jumping a little in the ring. I rode vintage first.
Vintage is a no nonsense kinda girl. She’s 19 now, but still has an effortless walk to canter transition when jumping is involved. She’s a really similar ride to Justin – small, quick and nimble. She’s a knees-to-nose kinda jumper.
Berry is a bit the opposite. She is a perfect hunter princess. Her consistent rhythm is envied by metronomes across the globe. She easily glides around the arena with a nonchalant attitude. She carries that same outlook over fences, she makes it look easy, but knows exactly how high she needs to lift her legs to clear it.
I hadn’t jumped since Morven, so after not really do any higher intensity riding in the last month, it was really nice to know I could still jump!
It also reminded me how important switch riding is. When I did Pony Club in middle/high school being able to ride a variety of different horses was paramount. We would swap horses nearly every lesson, even if it was just for a few minutes at the end, and at every rating we were required to jump and flat at the level on any horses we switched onto. Although I’ve picked up so much more skill since then, I think I was much more proficient then at being an “all around” rider.
So thank you, Courtney for helping me get back in the saddle and try out different kinds of rides! And for the coffee. Courtney has ringside delivery.
Do you get to switch ride frequently? Do you think it improves any part of your riding?