I think I have a crush on a draft. I'm scandalized.
I had my first jumping lesson with Big Papa today and was pleasantly surprised when he took me to the jumps. It was a substitute teacher since I had to reschedule my lesson and I don't think she expected me to find it hilarious when he left a stride out. I asked him to move up and he said 'yes ma'am, that stride's gone, ma'am'. Nice! Of course he also trotted pretty sedately when I asked him to wait for the short one but we both liked the longer ones. The teacher was a bit confused, but I didn't give her the run down on my background. Cross rails and two foot verticals? Pfft, I was just goofing around and so was Papa. He's one game pony.
We did have some time on the flat to work on his self carriage. I was trying to explain to someone why I kept giving him breaks despite the fact he's ridden almost daily and is considered fit. The average lesson is a lot of walking, a lot of trotting, and some bursts of canter. Almost none of it requires self carriage and quite frankly, a horse really carrying himself would scare the pants off of a kid learning how to trot and steer at the same time. When I got Theo to lift his back and carry his own weight, he was out of breath after one time around the ring. Canter? We can manage about three quarters of a twenty meter circle before he starts to fall on his face. It's like the difference between someone that jogs every day and someone that cross trains at the gym. He can jog forever, but he can't lift.
Seriously, do you even lift?
The bro joke wrote itself, I'm not ashamed. The tablet is too old to work with Windows 8, though, so I'm back on the market for a new one.
So Big Papa and I rocked around the lesson, dodging ponies and doing his weight lifting sets. I think there's a serious First Level horse hiding in there. His canter needs a ton of work, but he's pretty decent over fences, too. I asked the trainer what the odds were that he'd be available for a half lease and she said 'pretty damn good'. That's a direct quote.
I might be going steady with a draft. I'm still in shock. I see that big ol' booty and wavy tail and every instinct tells me to run the other way! I haven't been lucky enough to have a lot of drafts in my life with a work ethic. Most of them tell me I can do it myself, and it would be easier to get off and just shove them along. I was told he's a Percheron Chevelle or some such nonsense. It's French, so I immediately think Canada, which makes me think PMU foal. We're swimming in them here in New England. His confirmation isn't bad.
I swear his head isn't that massive, I just couldn't get a decent angle and he was taking such a nice nap after our lesson.
So yeah, it's getting pretty serious. I even caught myself looking at ear nets for him, since he's sensitive to black flies and that season is starting. Is that like asking him to wear my ring?