Thursday 15 September 2016

Q Mare: 1st Lesson Recap

In case you missed my mention of my new weekly ride Q, a quick recap: 6 year old 16.2hh grey TB/Percheron mare. Still fairly green, sweet girl. Her owner is an amazing rider doing a wonderful job with her, but a bit short of time at the moment and offered me a once weekly ride. I'm so not worthy, but am going to do my best to take advantage of such an amazing opportunity to better my riding.

Since Q mare is pretty much the opposite of Bridget, I need to learn to ride all over again. Actually, I lie, I just need to believe I can ride a strange horse, again.

I started with a quick warm up trail ride, which my big grey friend was excited about. This is a horse who loves to work, and I suspect you'd have a very hard time tiring her out. She's very much the TB in that she's always ready to offer you more and she views forward as a reward rather than a punishment. So, we power walked and trotted all over the neighbourhood as a relaxing warmup, but I think it just got her more ready to go!
Another terrible pic of Q
 We returned in time for our lesson, and immediately went to work in the walk. Even in the walk she wants to "run away" with me and drag me around and generally be a bit of a bully. I'm apparently much too soft as I'm used to Bridget being so light and reactive. Listening to my quiet whispers is not so much on Q's agenda - at the moment she's much more of the turn it up loud and rock on mentality ;) So, the usual spirals and circles were used, with me really focusing on keeping my position very strong and my half halts effective.

Up to trot, same thing, just keeping my body very strong and really half halting her whenever she gets heavy, frequent reminders for her to sit and use herself more. It's a literal balancing act as she wants to be very heavy and drag you around, but shes legit green and needs the rider to help her balance too.

Canter, same thing. Keep the outside shoulder contained, ask her to sit, keep my core very strong and shoulders back. Super hard work as she will take any opportunity to try to tip you forward and race off.

My thoughts: This horse is going to be very, very good for my riding, and also my confidence. She's a bit hot and sensitive and a little tricky but in a good way, because she's pretty levelheaded at the same time. When I ride her well, she goes super well. I cannot tense up or tip forward or any of that. She's very reminiscent of a mare I owned previously, so I do have the tools I need, they're just rusty and belonged to a previous, much braver, version of me.There was much testing and feeling each other out tonight, but I think we're going to be OK. I do love big bad Q mare - the work ethic and forward thinking are a nice change from Bridget.

EC's input: Two thumbs up as a second ride for me. It's a good fit. Don't need to just hack, I'm more than capable of schooling her too, I just need to have confidence in my abilities. Treat her like a greener version of Bridget and aim for the same feel. I know what to do.
Bridget did this all evening and I ran out of time to ride her it's your turn, B! You can just see her little "star" where her neck meets her jaw. It's not a scar, it's exactly the same as a small star you'd normally find on the forehead, coat whorl included. I feel like it makes her a bit special :)
Final thoughts: Stupid confidence again, but I'm happy she thinks I'm capable, I'm a far less talented rider than Q's owner or previous riders and I know she's been quite fussy about who can ride her. (No pressure, right?;)  I think we'll continue to do a monthly lesson to check in. She's a nice change from Bridget, but also makes me appreciate Bridget at the same time...brakes are nice, as is B's naturally more uphill way of going. Overall, I'm beyond flattered her owner and EC trust me with such a lovely horse and quite excited about my new big bad ass grey friend :)


  1. So awesome!! Sounds a lot like my new catch ride... i.e. the total polar opposite of my pony! It's so fun to learn new tools with new horses. :)

  2. Riding different horses is good for you and you can totally do this.

  3. She sounds like a really cool ride. I'm glad you're enjoying her! It's crazy the mental and emotional contortions and acrobatics that come into play just but sitting on a different horse... I'm always full of questions and self doubt too personally lol. But then when it goes well it's such a confidence boost!!

  4. It is fun to jump at the opportunity to ride different horses - really gives you perspective on your own mount!