So, what kind of horse should I be riding?

If the horse is difficult, as Rebel has been difficult, should I then continue to ride difficult horses?

But if the horse is difficult, as Rebel has been difficult, how many habits do I get into that will not translate happily to another mount?

I’m not let ride Delilah anymore [although I will insist on her in the fields] because I know how.

I’m guessing I won’t be let ride Rebel for much longer… because I know how.

It is amazing that I’ve gotten to this point with him. I had him through a really bad attitude patch, and we’ve come out the other side, dumping at the top of the field notwithstanding. His bucks alarm not all. I nudge him on the flank with the long stick with aplomb. I still feel I have so much more to learn from him, jumping-wise. But sheer logistics may knock me out of his saddle.

There are a lot of people coming in to the lessons. Fair weather riders. Summer hours are contracting classes. More bodies mean that there need to be sufficient mounts. With Charlie out of the school, and Argo retired, there’s less leeway. So it may be me and Rinaldo now.

He looked far easier than he was with me. Part of me was mortified at myself, riding him so poorly, and part of me exulted. So I’m not perfect. Rinaldo’s not perfect. Here comes a bunch more lessons. His canter, when I got it, was powerful and gentle at the same time. More of that, please!

If I can just get him to move.

My hands were once again like concrete breeze blocks. More sensitive than Reb, if my seat got that bit too heavy, he slowed all the way down. But the way he listened to my leg! He yielded like a high school dressage horse! That was cool. I know I was pissing him off, my signals mixed, leaning in the reins, falling into the seat. He shot me a look over his shoulder at one point — Make up your mind! ‘I know, I know,’ I said, and tried again.

So riding a difficult horse has made it difficult for me to ride a responsive horse. Looks like it is time to move on.

But after I’ve had Rebel just a few more times…

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