Horsey Doppelganger

I don’t know about y’all, but I love riding other horses from time to time, even just for a few minutes. I am always so curious as to how horses feel versus how they look.

Rio shows off his fancy trot

There is this gorgeous hanoverian at my barn named Clark that reminds me SO MUCH of Neco, the horse I used to lease and show in the AA’s. This is us from a show a few years ago. Anyway, I have been itching to ride Clark to see if he is anything like Neco, so MM let me hop on him for a few minutes last night to take him for a spin. In short, he’s really different from Neco, but still fun! Takes a LOT of leg, and I was embarrassingly huffing and puffing a little bit and felt kind of like a sack of potatoes. In some ways he was easy to ride, and in other ways, harder for me.

When you are 17.3 you have a pretty big step


I love riding other horses because it helps me focus on my likes and dislikes, and then I can try to apply those to Rio. For example, Clark needs a LOT of leg/motivation. I prefer a horse that has a bit more engine. Rio mostly goes forward easier, but I could definitely continue to finesse the go pedal a bit more to make sure he stays quick off my aids. Clark is really good at carrying himself, and rarely tries to pull himself around on the forehand. If he gets heavy, a simple correction is all it times to remind him. He is super quiet in the bridle, and has a soft, open throat latch. This is definitely something I need to keep working on with Rio, as he can be a bit all over the place and I constantly have to encourage him to stay up and not get behind the vertical. You will see in the video, he isn’t to a point where he is super consistent in the bridle yet, versus how quiet Clark is. Clark feels “quick” to me (although he doesn’t look it at all) compared to Rio’s stride. That’s not exactly something you can change, so thankfully I prefer Rio’s longer stride overall (or maybe I’m just more used to it).


Short video of me on Clark:

Clark8.7.17 from Kelly on Vimeo.



Even more boring video of me lightly trotting Rio (his first ride back after hock injections so we took it super easy):

Rio8.7.17 from Kelly on Vimeo.


So what about you guys? Do you like to ride other horses, and do you compare them to your own?



*Huge thanks to MM for the pics and videos, and letting me try out Clarky (who is owned by the nicest Adult Ammy!)* 

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  1. i get a lot of value out of riding other horses – actually last summer spent basically the whole season riding everything and anything under the sun. from naughty greenies who needed schooling to seasoned dressage horses to lesson schoolies to one trainer’s prelim/1* horse (without a doubt the most schooled horse i’ve ever ridden). it was a lot of fun! but most of my background is in riding anything/everything since i only just bought my first horse. so now it’s nice to really settle into that one solitary horse groove

  2. Neco is really cute! I rode a lot of different horses back before I owned and also when I was a working student. I still picked up rides here and there when I rode Carlos and Ramone but stayed pretty much on my own horses. After selling Ramone I rode a lot of different horses, especially when I was trying trainer’s. All really good things since I sometimes get very into how a horse goes and will be tripped up over how another horse goes (like a whole year of me blogging was me complaining about how weird Ramone felt in comparison to Carlos.)

    1. LOL!! I used to ride all sorts of horses too but since getting Rio last year I barely ride anyone else anymore. Before getting him, I was tired of the different horse every ride song and dance because I wanted something to progress with, but now I like the occasional variation. Keeps me from getting to focused on tiny things that Rio does and appreciating him more I think!

  3. I have 5 horses at home and they vary quite a lot. I think the variation keeps me fresh as a rider and forces me to not take things for granted or get terribly frustrated. The more different rides the merrier!

    1. Yes, this! I think only riding one horse can let you get stuck on very specific things, and you can fixate in a bad way. I love hopping on something different for the fresh factor. You’re lucky to have 5 yo rotate!

  4. I used to jump on any horse offered to me, but nowadays I’m happy sticking to more familiar ground. I’ll ride other horses, but only if I know with a fair bit of certainty that I’m not going to get dumped for my efforts. I really try to ride horses that I can learn things from and not teach things to these days. I’m getting older and don’t bounce as easily when I fall!

  5. I enjoy riding other horses, but it’s not a skill I’m good at and I’m typically kind of hesitant about it. I like to do it in the context of a lesson, or with the owner standing there helping, LOL.

  6. I recently moved to a barn that is privately owned and there are 5 other horses besides mine. I’ve had the opportunity to ride the fancy made hunter, paint-cross trail horse, and green large pony. I didn’t think I would like it at first and was extremely hesitant about my skill set being useful. But so far its been amazing, I’m learning to think differently with each of them teaching me something which I can use to towards helping my Appendix hunter. It’s also helped my fitness level!

    1. That sounds like am awesome opportunity! As long as the horse is reasonably safe I also feel like I can learn a lot from each one.

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