I finally rode the infamous Cal today. I guess it had to happen eventually. He was a rather large chestnut gelding with amazingly soft fur. He was a bit of a pain in the stall, but he wasn't terrible. I knew that everyone dislikes Cal, but I didn't know why (or at least all of the why) and decided to pop a painkiller.
I have to say that Cal was excellent for mounting. I'm generally firm about never throwing my leg over a moving horse, even if they're only walking. Therefore, I'm often caught awkwardly leaning onto the school horses as they mosey off, completely ignoring my request for them to stop and my tugs at the reins. Cal, however, stood perfectly as I mounted up. Of course, I got on him with the knowledge that he broke a friend's back at the beginning of the semester, but... Cowards never live at all, right? :P
He wasn't very willing to work off my leg, and he definitely didn't want to go into the corners. When we started trotting, he was slow. Also, I've never in my life felt the need to move my hands along with a horse's trot until Cal. Seriously. He was bobbing his head up and down like he was lame, but he wasn't. It was just...ack! He almost fell flat on his face one time, so I got Mac on the brain. I can't help it. Every time a horse even stumbles with me, I think of the day Mac fell, our last ride. It doesn't scare me, it just makes me think of what happened. Teresa made us drop one stirrup, and I've also never in my life felt like I was going to fall off because I only had one stirrup. It was pathetic.
CAL'S CANTER WAS ATROCIOUS. AND I MEAN ATROCIOUS. His canter ranks up there as one of the worst canters I've ever had the displeasure of sitting. He cantered slowly and I always felt like I was in complete control, but he felt like he was cross-cantering or something. He also had a very poor canter, which added to the discomfort. It wasn't fun.
Do I even have to say that I was glad to change horses? I don't dislike Cal the horse, I just dislike riding Cal. I was really, really happy to get Rascal. Today I learned that he's a Quarter Horse, which I suspected. Rascal and I had a wonderful ride together. We went around happily, and my riding improved so much just by switching horses and saddles. Rascal has the nice dressage saddle, after all :) We even had an amazing time cantering. I kept a rather short rein, but I followed his mouth closely and he worked very well with a little extra contact. He cantered beautifully for me. I thought to myself that Rascal is one of the school horses that I wouldn't mind owning. With a little training, he'd be absolutely amazing. Then I thought to myself that I already have the love of my life and don't need anyone else.
I get to see Stella this weekend. Ah, the love of my life.