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I’m vetting the four old on Thursday

I rode the four year old on Thursday…he’s a hoot to ride. Doesn’t know a thing, which I think is great, but is very willing to do what he’s told….didn’t get to canter him…I think he hadn’t a clue to my depart aids…he didn’t even really speed up that much…I felt discretion was the better part valor and didn’t push him.

My good friend MaryBeth came with me. The plan was for her to get on him first to protect my baby booming body from harm. But she has a concussion, so she couldn’t get on…so I did it all by myself…..I am very proud…

You had to see me…all my boots, equipment and breeches are already in Florida…so here I am in brand new boots, chaps with velcro, and an old pair of too small breeches, a helmet with one of those screws which wouldn’t hold my size and got bigger and bouncier and fell into my eyes with every stride the youngster took. I’d been out in the cold all morning watching MB’s horse get ridden in upstate NY and it’s bitter cold, and then drove a few hours to the new horse’s barn, so I’m stiff as a board and my mounting sense of the need for self preservation is making me stiffer and stiffer. The wind is gusting 30-40 miles an hour with wind chill in the teens. We’re in the indoor…the doors are banging, all the windows are rattling, the roof is rattling, the wind is moaning. The horse only gets like an hour a day turnout and bad weather has kept him in for the previous two days…and here I am with brand new jodphur boots which I never ride in <please read acute discomfort>, climbing onto a horse that everytime I look at him, seems taller and taller…I was nervous and thinking about 18 year old retired 16 hand GP schoolmasters in that moment…but what a good boy he was…totally unfazed by his howling environment!!

He’s very tall, very much a noodle, he’s so elastic…very sweet, a big baby Huey…has the ground manners of weanling however…very mouthy and in your face in a puppy like way…has no idea how big he is…light, very soft to ride but does meet your hand, naturally up hill….

We asked for a leg yield from their rider…The owner said he hadn’t schooled it at all but the horse happily did a leg yield with super crossing behind, right into the arena wall! Which was no deal at all…he just kept trotting….body language is super.

I was nervous getting on and it didn’t affect him at all and the better I got, the better he did.  By the end of the ride he was on a long rein with a big free walk…we just jelled.

He’s a very lanky, gangly, puppy dog….adores people…but he’s got good rythmn, easy to sit, equal front and behind in his gaits, light on his feet…He puts me very much in mind of my beloved Sitni whom I had to put down last year. But a bit lighter, more elegant, with a somewhat shorter back. While tall, he doesn’t ride that big….I suspect my 16.3mare, Rafi is wider than he is! Not a very beautiful head but gleaming, intelligent, friendly eyes …his beauty is his movement which is the aesthetic that matters to me most. And when he fills out, he’s going to be a great type. We didn’t get much video as MB wanted to coach me and be safe but I was surprised how well I looked on him.

His character and sensibility? His owner left the arena after I got on and let MaryBeth and I work alone…he was that confident of the horse’s sensible nature!

I’m in love…..he’s enough like Sitni to make me tear up but different enough that he is his own entity and I won’t be tempted to assign Sitni’s ghost to him…

cannot wait until the vetting on Thursday!

I’M IN LOVE…This is the Christmas gift of my lifetime…