June 11, 2010

Off to the Races!

Danilla or Dance as she is called, is an Arabian/Mustang cross mare that this lady has for lease in black forest.  She had two other Arabs and does endurance trail riding.  Apparently Danilla is a very forward horse but since she's not using her for the endurance anymore, since she always got too excited for it, she wants to lease her to someone so at least she gets ridden a bit.  She was a nice dark bay about 15 hands or so.  Rather rotund but that was due to her not being ridden much.  I liked her but she seemed a bit uninterested in me.  I don't like having horses turn away when I go to pet them.  The lady, Margaret, groomed her and tacked her up. 

The saddle was western looking but it wasn't a western saddle.  It seemed to have the two panels on each side forming the tree with a bump at the front, not a horn and a more western styled cantle in the back.  The seat was a sheep skin fleece type.  The stirrups were the plastic trail stirrups and the leathers where a patent leather looking material.  Once I mounted I knew I hated that saddle, I hoped if I leased her I could use my own tack!  I walked and trotted her around the property while Margaret tacked up her Arab Chance.

We set off for the trail.  Margaret lives very close to Black Forest Park so that was a plus.  I love trail riding!  Danilla was not too interested in walking, she plodded along quite slowly and then would break into a trot without any aids given by me.  I would sit deep and signal her to go back to a walk but I really got the impression she only would walk when she wanted to.  Her trot was quite nice though, and easy to sit to.  A few times that I asked her to trot we went a ways at the trot which I found quite comfortable.  The first time we cantered up a hill on the trail I thought I would never get her to stop.  She just lurched forward and kept going, not minding the little bug on her back trying desperately to collect her and gain control of the gait.  When Chance started to catch up with us Danilla did a couple little bucking movements, she didn't want him to catch us or worse, pass us!  I was having a time with her deciding to leap into a trot when and where she wanted to and not listening to my aids to slow down or stay at a walk.  Funny though, there were times I wanted to trot for a bit and she didn't seem to have the desire. 

I liked her well enough but felt I wanted a horse that was more responsive.  Even though I've ridden for a while I'm still getting used to this riding thing again and don't need a horse that will make me feel out of control half the time!  When we untacked the horses back at the barn I told Margaret my reservations and she said she understood.  It was why she'd insisted on us going out for a trail ride so I could really get a feel for Danilla.  I told her I would sleep on it and let her know after Sunday. 

I'm still hoping Willy will work out.  He's a forward going horse but he's more responsive, I felt a lot more comfortable riding him.  Sure I'll need to work on his stops, he seems to take forever when he's walking to stop but I can work with him.  He responded to my aids for slowing down at the trot and speeding up at the walk.  He was consistent and I feel that is what I need right now.  Margaret's horses were beautiful, the purebred Chance was to die for gorgeous!  How lucky she is!

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