Part of the fun with horses is the amazing variety they come in. Bucky and Dodger were both adorable ponies that I probably could have mounted from the ground.
My most recent date was with something just a little bit different.
Dorkzilla, the princess's boyfriend, is up next for a two week rotation. Going from two ponies to the 17h+ Hanoverian was a bit of a shock. Especially when it came time to mount. Geeze Louise, my foot has no business having to be lifted that high in the air just to get on the horse! Once I was up there I became aware of how far away the ground was now. Falling off is very low on my list of priorities when Mother Earth is a distant, hazy sight.
Yes, I know he's just a hand taller than the princess, but four inches is a lot! And he's three hands taller than the ponies!
The same way Dodger made me look good over fences, Champ made me look good on the flat. Really, when a horse has that much suspension you just have to sit there and smile. However, like Dodger, just sitting there and smiling isn't really my style. Dorkzilla knows a lot of dressage, having started out his life in a pure dressage barn, so I took full advantage of it. I practiced my sitting trot, getting him light and balanced, pushing random buttons to see what he'd do. My half passe needs some work, but that's not much of a surprise since I haven't done that in about six years. Champ couldn't be any more different from Fiona if he tried. He's big, he's generally mellow, and you wear spurs and carry a whip so that you can walk at the end of your lesson. While the princess pops up in the front, Dorkzilla likes to go down in front.
We had a great lesson, but it took four days for my abs to stop hurting. That boy takes some serious core strength, especially when you're sitting the trot and asking for collection. Who needs situps when you've got giant Hanoverians?
Fiona has her first sanctioned horse trial with my trainer this weekend. I'm going to have live scores on my phone and check it obsessively while I'm out of the house. I have my fingers crossed for a good first outing!