Wednesday, June 7, 2017
A couple of weeks ago Stella's now confirmed habit of abscessing in wet weather finally caught up to me big time. We were going to miss one of my favorite shows. A local pony club barn always hosts these awesome horse trials and combined tests a 15 minute drive from the barn. It's a great facility for someone introducing a new horse to the show atmosphere. The people are fantastic, the courses are always super easy, and I've never had a bad day there.
Alas, Stella wasn't able to go.
Luckily I know some really awesome people and one let me know that she was bringing a spare horse to keep a green bean company. Spare horse was available to me to do whatever I wanted.
As an added bonus loaner horse's owner also happened to be a local saddler dealer and came with an entire truck bed (literally, she had like 20 saddles) of demo saddles of which I could try any.
Isn't he adorable? His name is George (Isn't that perfect?) and he's a foundation QH who used to do contesting and now is a beginner novice champion. I had to reach way way back to my college days where we would show on catch rides. You got 30 seconds to meet your new horse and get all the info you could, then it was into the ring.
George was a bit stiff to the aids but was very forward and willing to do whatever I wanted, and I strongly suspect that my decade of riding small bendy horses made getting used to his chunky body a bit of a learning curve. I could tell right away that George was BROKE so we only warmed up for about 15 minutes before dressage for a fairly decent score (and maybe I ran over a cone because George got rolling downhill in the grass ring but who's counting).
Jumping was exciting and nerve wracking for me. I can't remember how long it's been since I've jumped something else, let alone jumped a few warm up fences then laid down a course. Luckily George was all business and once you got him pointed at a fence he took no prisoners.
We had a couple discussions about speed and general things like turning (again, there's a steep learning curve from a George to my soft mouthed turn on a dime bendy arabs) but I had a blast. He was very honest to the fences and had a comfortable, easy to sit canter.
Overall, despite me really wishing that I was there on Stella it was a great day!