Last week I rode Oliver, a big black Thoroughbred, and another horse whose name I never really learned. Her tack said one thing, while Teresa called her another. I want to say her name was April, though. On "April," I rode in another student's personal saddle, and it was absolutely amazing. I wish I had one like that. It even had those stirrups with the flexible black shock-absorbing stuff. "April" was also very fun to ride. I liked her a lot. Oliver was also lovely to ride. He was comfortable and very sweet. He was very tall, though. I haven't been on many tall horses at the school.
This week, I jumped Jasmine again. We didn't really do any high jumps--just a single crossrail. We were working on telling where our horses took off (long, normal, or short) and judging strides. I had so much fun doing it. We also had a great time jumping together. Jasmine was so good. And I kept my stirrups the length I wanted them :) I was so happy.
I rode a gigantic bay gelding named Darby and that "lazy" chestnut gelding, Aussie, on Thursday. Darby was quite nice to ride, but he was very sensitive. He reminded me a lot of Stella. He also was a little fast, but I liked to ride him. He was so tall, but it was nice to ride a really tall horse for once. When we switched horses, I got Aussie. Everyone complains about how Aussie is so lazy, but I actually like him. I used a crop once, the first time I asked him to canter. After I showed him that I meant business, everything was fine. I never put it on him again, and I only had to use my legs. In fact, while I was riding a pattern, I noticed that I was carrying the crop upside-down, with the "using" part sticking straight up in the air out of the top of my fist. I don't understand where everyone else is coming from when they say they hate Aussie because he's lazy and mean. He's never lazy and mean with me.
I brushed Stella last night, played with her, and fed her some treats. Today, I rode Tatiana and Stella. Stella was very good. I was actually going to jump her, but Mindy and Elizabeth finished up their jumping before we felt ready to go. That was okay, though. We had a very, very nice time on the flat. Larry even complimented us after the ride. Mindy and Elizabeth trotted and cantered bareback around the barn for a while. I thought about it, but Stella is a really, really uncomfortable bareback horse.
I actually did sit on Stella bareback (She was wearing her blanket.) for around thirty seconds. Elizabeth and my sister held her in her halter while I mounted up, and they were going to lead me around. I just can't trust Stella in a halter alone, especially outside of the ring. Stella started getting upset and getting too strong for her leaders, so I just slipped off and decided I'd wait until I've got her in her bridle. I might try riding her in the blanket again. It made her withers a bit more comfortable, even though she was a little slick.
Thinking about bareback riding so much makes me think about Mac. He was such a comfy bareback horse. I miss him so much. It makes me tear up a little. I was just listening to "Asleep" by The Smiths, and it reminded me so much of the night I spent with him and those last few moments of his life. In fact, the last song I sang to him, in the few minutes it took for the vet to get the injections ready, was a song by The Smiths. It was "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out." I had to stop listening to that song for a very long time. Eventually I was able to hear it again without sobbing--and it's a good thing too, because I love it--but to this day I still find it almost impossible to listen to the song without thinking about Mac. I wish that he were still here. But I'm glad Stella is here for me now.