L. and I had been talking about needing to get together to ride again. Initially, it was supposed to be at my barn with Scarlet but as the designated day crept closer, it was looking to be a scorcher. My barn is inland and there is generally a 20-degree difference between the coast and inland area. That weekend, it hit 100 and did not cool down at all during the night. The forecast said it would be about 90 degrees by 10am. Given that that sucks, we decided to switch to riding Dante instead. L’s barn is near the coast and is much cooler than mine.
I arrived at the barn and chatted with L while she was grooming Dante. There was no one around at her barn so it was really peaceful. Dante has grown into such a lovely boy. He’s so wide now. I can almost not believe he is the same horse I met almost a year ago. He is such a lover boy too. He looooooves the attention and just wants it all the time. He has his baby moments but is so well behaved for a 4 year old.
L took him out and gave him a warm up. I’ve never watched her do a ride that wasn’t a warm up before a show. It was very enlightening as to how she manages to get 100 transitions during a ride. She transitions all the time. Half a lap of trot here, across the diagonal, walk some, trot again, canter a bit. She’s super varied and I could definitely see how it’s so good for the horse. I’ve got to give it some serious thought on to how to implement something similar with Scarlet. Transitions make him anxious because he is always attempting to anticipate what I want next so that many will hurt his poor little brain. I need to work a bit on figuring out the right application for him.
After she rode around and made sure that he didn’t have any wiggles in him, I got to get on. I was so nervous. I’ve never ridden a horse as young as Dante. And I was pretty terrified that I’d do something stupid and ruin him for forever. Obviously, that wouldn’t happen. I’d have to be a horrible person and abuse him or something to ruin him, rather than not being a great rider. Still, irrational thoughts am I right?
Dante has so much suspension in his gaits. The difference between him and Scarlet is… ridiculous. Obviously, there’s a lot of genetics etc going on there. There is also almost a 2 hand difference in height which helps. But Dante really floats across the ground, even when I’m not riding amazing. L urged me to canter and after some serious trouble (I really should have just picked up my reins and tried to ride! Ugh. If she lets me ride again, I’ll do better!) we cantered. He’s so flowy and effortless. I didn’t canter much because L’s saddle did not fit me. At all. I found myself sitting super forward and almost on the pommel itself. Not comfortable for extended riding. lol
It was super fun. It definitely gave me a better idea for what I’d look for in Future Horse. I don’t know that I will ever have the budget for a horse of Dante’s caliber but maybe I can find a really raw somewhere in between Scarlet and Dante version? XD
I love hanging out with horse friends and always feel grateful when they trust me enough to let me on their horses. 🙂