Before owning May, I rode a lot of different horses. Through high school and college, I would ride 5 – 6 difference horses 6 days a week. Ponies, warmbloods, OTTBs, whatever. However, since buying May, I have pretty rarely sat on anything else. When I have, those sessions have either been quiet trail rides or 5 minutes of hopping on and playing with something else. Buuuuut when a friend of mine offered to let me hop on her awesome new Canadian Sport Horse, I nearly ran to my tack locker to grab my helmet and boots.
He’s only been out here in California for about a week, but has already proven to be a super game and sweet guy. So I had minimal trepidations about hopping on him. Apparently, I still hold onto some fear of mounting new horses after episodes like this one back in 2019. Naturally, my first response when climbing to the top of the mounting block was “wow, he is tall.” Spoiler alert: he is not tall. He is like 16.1.
For context, I put on my boots and my normal May spurs (round ball spurs). Why spurs? Because general consensus was that this nice, quiet horse goes best in spurs. As life turns out, he goes best in spurs with people who have normal legs. I, apparently, do not have normal legs. I have “used to riding May” legs. What does this mean? It means that I apparently ride with a LOT of leg as my default.
Part of my issue was the configuration of the saddle I was in didn’t work for my body. But the bigger issue is that… I am used to riding with a lot of leg on… at like… all times. Not kicking, not chasing, just ON. This poor horse was such a good sport as I attempted to get my ish together. By the end of my ride, we were all dying laughing… and I was left wondering, “Is May actually brave? or do I just keep the legs of death on her at all times?” Probably… a bit of both.
It did bring to light this issue, which I am sure will be incorporated into all my lessons going forward, and it also illuminated the need for me to ride some other horses. My previous horse taught me to ride with my leg off… apparently, May has taught me too far in the other direction. Ironically, Chloe hasn’t had an issue with May going forward off her leg when she has ridden her, so it means that May has just kind of… accepted this is the way I am. Probably time to fix this.
Another realization, I am actually pretty short. Like… I did make a 16.1 horse look large. I asked if this meant I could get another pocket sized horse for my next eventer… I was met with “no… you can get a normal sized horse.” Ah well. Worth a try. 🙂 Apparently, my habit of keeping my leg ON to get down the lines will have to come to an end at some point. Until then, kick on!