I've had a lovely day today. I arrived home chilled through, because it was freezing out there, but any day riding horses is worth getting a little bit cold for. I had a ride on Anya's little chestnut pony Riperr first. He's lovely, although tiny, and it's difficult getting used to the tiny little stride of a little pony like this after my warmblood mare Freelance (and Freelance isn't huge either).
After I worked him for a bit, I jumped, off and grabbed my camera, and Ripper and I stood together and I took some images of Fenella riding. She's got Pirate going well. He's a bit of a narky fellow, and can be cross and cantankerous, particularly about going forward, but he's black, and he's lovely.
It's fair to say that I've come away thinking more and more about my next riding horse. And ok yes! I want a black one..... After all, my favourite horse book was "The Black Stallion", and my first favourite racehorse was "The Black Horse" Kingston Town. I have always had a soft spot for black horses.
Fenella took a few images of me when I had a go on Pirate. It's always good to see images of yourself riding, because you can see all the things you're doing wrong!!!! Grant is right, I need to carry my hands better (I keep dropping my thumbs) and look up more. Pirate is a bit stubborn off the leg and because Fen had already worked him, he probably felt he'd done enough, and a horse will always test out a new rider to see what they can get away with. So he started getting narky and actually slowing down when I put my leg on him. It's a little bit like that worrying tendency that Dan has, when he decelerates from time to time even when my foot is flat to the floor. He threw in one of these episodes the way out after not doing it for ages. However the problem with horses is that slowing down against the forward aid of the rider's leg is blatant disobedience, whereas Dan's just old and ailing!
Pirate and I worked it through though, and I did enjoy him. He's probably bigger than I'd want in a horse (he's at least 16.2, which for me, is big), but I did like him enormously. At this point there's probably a little bit of dreaming going on, but I figure life's not much fun without big dreams and big ambitions. And it feels so great to be riding again. And seeing as Fenella and I worked out that this November my darling Freelance will turn 20 (jesus....), it is well and truly time to begin planning for my next horse. I can't expect her, with those forelegs and at this age, to stay sound for very long.