A few weeks ago I showed up to the barn to find out that my regular mount had been sold – I saw it coming as she was an amazing horse to ride. So I simply assumed that I was riding another horse that my coach had tossed around before. After asking which paddock to go to, I simply got “your horse is down there” and as I followed the finger that pointed to the right direction I was confused. “Down there” is where Susanne’s semi-retired Grand Prix Stallion Rheirattack lived. I soon found out I was about to start an amazing journey with “Rheir”.
So fellow dressageaholics today’s confession is that one of the first lessons that I am learning on Rheir is that I have a lot to learn! I was so nervous the first time I sat on him for so many reasons. But little did I know just because he’s a stallion (“He has balls!!!” is all I kept thinking) it didn’t mean he couldn’t be forgiving and tolerant of an amateur like myself. He may quite possibly be one of the most patient Grand Prix stallions out there. Sometimes I am convinced I hear him sigh and think “Oh god Henna, keep up ok?”. But luckily with his trainer in tow, I am learning fast! I hope my beloved Salut is watching down from heaven and proud of how far he brought me. Sitting on a Grand Prix horse at this stage in my dressageducation is really beyond my dreams, and I am truly thankful for this opportunity.
Someone once told me “Good horses make good riders”. But I’ve discovered it’s actually “Well trained horses make good riders.”. Rheir is very forgiving but is so well trained that if I don’t ask correctly he’s just going to be like: “Whatever I can’t tell what you want so get back to me when you know… meanwhile I will dream of that chestnut mare in the field”.
Salut was forgiving and being ridden by amateurs was very good at “interpreting” what you wanted. “So you seem to want shoulder in… ok since you feed me carrots I’ll give it to you.”
But that meant I never truly learned the 100% correct aids. Rheir is taking care of that pretty quickly… because there is no doubt that a Grand Prix horse can execute a shoulder in with ease. So if it’s not happening, I only have myself to blame. Stay tuned as I bring you along with on this amazing journey.