We’ve heard Winston Churchill’s quote many times “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man” I’d like to add that “There is something about the outside of a WELL BRED BROKE HORSE that is good for Melissa!” I walk away from every ride on Joe saying the same thing “Wow that is a really nice horse!” I spend the entire ride realizing that I don’t totally suck as a rider. Joe has a lope that I could sit for days. With Grace I was pretty well convinced that I wasn’t capable of properly loping a horse. Don’t get me wrong – I love Grace and everything she has taught me, but damn it is a real treat to ride a horse that is bred for the job I am asking him to do! I’ve been asking myself for the last 2 years what the other competitors in the show ring are doing differently. Why do their horses go so much nicer than mine? I am starting to understand – they are sitting on nicer horses to begin with.
All of the lessons on Grace are coming into play on Joe. He is an easier ride and is super responsive. When I close my leg, he lifts his back and pushes up into the bridle. If I need more contact all I need to do is to close my fingers on the rein while adding more leg. If I tense my back I feel him change underneath me as if to say “where did you go” but he doesn’t hollow his back and throw his head like Grace. Joe has allowed me to find the stability in my body again under saddle. I’ve ridden Grace a few times when she didn’t have lessons scheduled and I will say our rides are much better – I give her the same ride I’ve been giving Joe – working on the same exercises. Grace is a Super Star in the lesson program – she now has more than one little girl that is in love with her. Grace loves the extra grooming time and treats that come her way from her little people.