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