Everyone’s perfect mount is different. Some really love the challenge of a hot horse. Others like a needy horse to nurture. Still others like a calm and submissive partner. There are really countless personalities that fit everyone’s needs. There are so many horses out there, but it is so difficult to choose that perfect horse for ourselves, or indeed, to know what that perfect mount for us is.
In the past few days I have been lamenting the loss of Abby. Sensei is sending her to a friend of his for awhile. I have finally started really realizing that she is not mine anymore. Although Sensei has offered her back to me on numerous occasions, he won’t even entertain the idea of me riding her, at least not on his property. Says he has no desire to see a wreck. While he can not stop me from riding her on my property, I know can read between the lines. I know in my head it would be a bad thing.
Yet when I have been comparing Abby to Corrie, I really like Abby’s spirit. I like that she is a little more hot. I like her movement and style. She is very bonded to me, follows me around like a dog. Yet she is a lot of horse. I mean an OTTB can be a lot of horse, but they are half the size of Abby. Now Abby is not red hot, but she is very opinionated.
There are two basic kinds of draft horses. Your typical mellow “farm bred” horses. These are the draft horses that people like to ride. These are the horses you see working the fields of Amish country. They are very laid back and what many people think of when they think of a draft temperament. Then there are the “hitch bred” horses. Hitch horses are hotter. Ever go to the fair and watch the big fancy 6 horse hitches? Those are the high-stepping fancy draft horses. They are anything but mellow. Abby is “hitch bred” I believe. She has longer legs and more of an “up” attitude. Well half hitch bred, but she really got that temperament.
I have found myself in the past few days, turning away from Corrie and wanting to hold on to Abby with everything I have. She is a big, beautiful, and powerful. Corrie is, well Corrie. Short and dumpy old brood mare. Corrie is not flashy. Corrie is safe.
See how boring that even sounds? She is safe, if I lose my balance she slows. If I drop my stirrups she stops. If I feel nervous she takes over and does what she thinks is best, often involves stopping. Corrie is not always easy to ride, I will admit that. She gets ideas in her head and that is what is going to happen. I really need to step up to the bat and make her get on the ball, but still she is safe.
When I nag Corrie she put up with it, but Abby, well Abby will trot off in her own direction. I keep being told that if I ride Abby and let her do what she wants, everything will be fine, but if I choose to make her do what I want- I’ll have a fight. I know that is true.
Guess what I really need. Safe. I would love to ride my hot sensitive Abby, but what I need is calm, sensible, safe Corrie. In a year? Maybe I could ride Abby. Yet, in a year I could become an even better rider and driver and really pull out Corrie’s potential. The trade off is difficult sometimes to consider.
My choice is to have Corrie. It is my choice. I could have Abby, but the cost to me is too high. Others, they choose that difficult horse. They choose to fight their fear by conquering a more difficult horse. Who is right? Nobody. It is all a choice. We all have to deal with what our horses dish out. We all have to deal with the limitations of our horses. What we each, as individuals choose to deal with is so personal. As long as our horse is meeting our needs and we are meeting theirs, then it is all good.
I love my safe, dependable, stubborn Corrie. I miss Abby.