I rode my big mare yesterday for the first time. I got on her in the arena at my friends place and we walked and trotted some circles. It has been a while since I have been in the saddle, let alone on a horse that is taller than I am. One of the first things I said was "She is not at all like riding Tess." I really miss that goofy, long eared, red mare.
One of the things I noticed about riding Aruba is this-> If I am not doing it right, she stops. If my legs slip forward out of position, she slows down and stops. There is nothing pushing her forward so why should she go? Something I had to keep telling her was "This is not just about You getting it right." Once we got going forward and she was dropping her head and balanced I started to post at the trot. It has been a long time since that has happened for me too. It felt good!
Last night though as I was unwinding and coming off the 'high' from a good ride, my back started hurting. This time instead of it being my lower back, it was my right shoulder. The one I usually drop or hunch over when going to the right. It hurt because I didn't do that this time. I kept my shoulders straight and sat up like I should.
Going to the right she tends to lean on your inside leg. A Lot! A few times I felt as if I had to hold her up with my calf. Not cool, but we can work on that. She also shoved her nose out and down, trying to pull the reins through my hands. Again, not cool, but we can work on that. I am excited about bringing her home and getting to work on her. The bony top part of her hip has begun to disappear under muscle and she is taking on a gorgeous shape. I am thinking to start another blog to chronicle her progress towards the hunter arena and lower level dressage. Post your opinions in the comments and come along for the ride.