Well. Yesterday evening was fun, instructive, and very, very hot.
I should point out right now that TSB was correct: I definitely needed to get on Cuna and see what that ride felt like, if only for a reference point. I really did need to get on a non-Reveille horse. And as it happens, I got on TWO non-Reveille horses. :) MT and TW were also correct about the sort of horse I'd like. I'm thinking that putting horse hunting in TW's hands might be a brilliant idea, but it's not like she's dead busy or anything. ;) Anyway, on with the story:
We got Cuna and Corvi, the new schoolie mare that TSB was riding, tacked up and sorted out, and headed down to the arena, where Cuna and I proceeded to walk, trot, canter, and hop over a tiny crossrail while Corvi and TSB watched and coached. I didn't get any pictures, but I think TSB did get a couple. None of me on the giant red guy, though.
That might have been because I was SO uncomfortable and out-of-place on him, though. Walk and trot went well. Cuna was patient and had this feeling of rolling his eyes the whole way through -- "oh good grief, another deranged monkey on my back. Great." -- but was cooperative. His canter, though ... yoiks! Indeed, it felt so very different. :) MUCH faster than Rev's. I felt like I had a lot less control. I did NOT like it, Sam I Am, did not like it at all at first. TSB poked and prodded me into doing more and more canter transitions, and things got much better as time went on. After a while, I felt like I could actually make it work if I were to invest time and effort ... but Cuna wouldn't be my first choice of ride. Especially when jumping -- I got the "clinging like a deranged monkey" thing going pretty well. :)
However! TSB pointed out that the fact that I came out, hopped on a huge unfamiliar horse, and went walk-trot-canter-jump was (my word: slightly) impressive in the first place, so I didn't feel quite as bad about not clicking with him in the least. ;) And after the jumping, I was D. O. N. E. done. Hot, sweaty, a little nauseated ... heh, I should have drunk more water at work. So I pulled the ripcord and said no more until I've gotten some water and cooled down a little. TSB was teh awsomest and went and got water while I sat in the shade and boiled.
She also handed me the reins to Corvi, who was happy to stand in the shade and be cute while I boiled and drank. TSB had said how little she likes to ride Corvi and how unattractive she thinks Corvi is ... heh. I thought she was utterly adorable and funny. Granted, she doesn't have a pretty head like Cuna, but she has the cutest roaning on her eyebrows and has such a nice expression. She's not nearly as tall as Cuna, maybe 15.2 or 3, and a dark bay. Some sort of warmblood, 14 years old, and intended to be a schoolie for TSB's teacher. So Corvi and I sat and talked and drank water.
Since Cuna unsettled me so much, I ended up hopping on Corvi for our short trail ride.
Can you see where this is going?
Yeah. I <3ed her. She was calm and polite and didn't intimidate me one bit. She even came down and onto the bit, even though I was stuck in a really crap saddle and couldn't really use my leg or weight. She was supposed to be a kick-on ride, but I didn't find her too bad at all. Of course, this was on a trail, so it might be different in the arena. We did a little canter, even, and that was fun! Trot was easy and comfortable, she wasn't too stiff laterally, etc. And she has funny huge mare ears. :)
I need to find out if she's for sale, and ride her a little more ... I swear, if she ends up being the surprise perfect horse and I buy her, TSB will kill me, and then we will laugh ourselves sick. I am -- as usual -- trying to not get my hopes up.
So yeah. TSB took pity on overheated me and whisked the tack off the horses and rinsed them while I drank another couple of liters of water. I knew there was a reason I ride in the indoor when it's this hot! It's out of the sun!! I can cope with hot, or sun, but not hot + sun + not enough water. We fed and tidied, and then off to Sonic for a very cold slushie. :)
An instructive evening!