Sylvana, a friend of mine at the barn, and I both have four year olds we are working with under saddle. Our two Arabs (okay, he’s technically an Anglo-Arabian) have the Arab herd-brain: when one snorts the other automatically snorts and looks around. Even if nothing is there. It just takes a snort. Funny to see when a llama is following you around the pasture…
Sylvana is taking her four year old, Renegade, to a clinic on Friday. She wanted to have one more ride on him before she went. We have been spotting each other when we ride our youngsters — buddy system helps prevent a lot of problems. The idea was to have Renegade’s first ride in the big ring and have another older horse to keep him company.
Perfect situation for Prize: older mare used mainly in lessons would probably like getting out some place different. Good soothing influence. Theoretically.
Renegade was the one who was the soothing influence. Prize wanted to RUN! She was in the big ring with a non-student on her back who could ride and she wanted to RUN! Twenty minutes of prancy walk later, she finally calmed down a little to where her head came down and she started to relax. We stayed in the far end of the ring so Renegade had plenty of space. When Prize walked calmly, I asked her to trot (expecting her nice slow trot). Nope, we were off to the races with her Very Fast Pony Trot. I brought her back down to the walk and we focused on getting her to stretch down for a while.
Once Sylvana was off of Renegade, I let Prize canter (make that a hand-gallop) around the ring a few times before we stopped. She was having so much fun. It was like “WHEE! I’m 25 going on 3!”
So the youngster misbehaving was actually 25 and the old-acting horse was 4.