Having my nephew here this week has been a learning experience for me as to the kind of horse I actually have. You see, I always considered him totally push button. Hop on and go, he will confidently navigate the trails, walk/trot/canter at the slightest suggestion, and is light on the cues. We spend hours on the buckle. I always considered him a totally beginner horse. And the truth is he is pretty safe. More inclined to dig his heels in than to gallop off….BUT is not quite as responsive or light as I thought. AT LEAST not for an inexperienced 12 year old.
I’m the only person that rides my horse and we have a pretty good thing going. We’ve spent years working out our communication and establishing just who exactly is in charge of this show. It was a poor assumption on my part that those same boundaries would apply with a different rider. I put my nephew on and suddenly my horse will not move, wanders off to graze where he wants and pretty much just blows him off entirely.
The experience has reminded me of THIS article I read some time ago. My situation is a little different, but if you had asked me 2 weeks ago if my horse was a beginner horse, I would have said…absolutely. Now I’m not so sure, he may need someone with a little experience to get after him a bit to get him to respond, at least at the beginning.
All in all an interesting experience. I’m so thankful for my “husband’s” horse in the literal and figurative sense of the word. She has gladly carried my nephew around saving him from the frustration that my apparently hard headed equine can cause.