A Different Kind of Ride

"My name is Windows and I will expose all of your flaws!"
My wonderful friend and fellow boarder recently offered me the opportunity to hack her lovely horse on the days that she works a 12-hr shift. Windows is an OTTB gelding going solid at Training level and working on moving up to Prelim, so I was absolutely THRILLED when my friend asked me to help her keep him going when she couldn't make it out to ride.

"It will be SO great to ride such a well-schooled horse!" I said to myself, "I can really work on my own skills and position on the days that I get to ride Windows!"

Turns out I am seriously out of practice when it comes to riding anything except my WonderPony, and my friend is a seriously great rider who makes her horse look so easy to ride!

First impressions included, "Wow, he's tall." Anything over 15hh is monstrous to me, and W tops out over 16hh. However, all the jumps in our arena looked really tiny from up there. I can definitely see the advantage to riding a taller horse. Additionally, "Wow, he's NOT EASY!"

I picked up the reins at the walk to start to get him round, and I was met with Windows' insistence on poking his nose out, twisting his head, and setting himself against my hand. Where was the lovely, soft, light, prancing magical unicorn that my friend rides?!

Second impressions quickly followed, consisting mainly of thoughts about how LONG he was, and how much more horse there was to physically keep track of. As soon as I'd get one part of his body where I wanted it, it seemed that all of the other parts flew out the window.

I spent most of the short ride just pushing Windows' buttons and seeing where I needed to be to get him where he needed to be. Eventually, I remembered that my outside leg is a thing, and I should use it. The WHOLE leg, including my thigh. Once I started asking for more bend from my outside leg, Windows was so much straighter and easier to put on the bit. His body lined up and lightened up, and I suddenly had a lot more influence over where all his parts were. It was fun to feel how much stronger and more balanced he is than Dino - riding a small, round, balanced canter circle on Windows didn't require the Herculean feats of pony-management that it does on my own steed.

Downward transitions were tough - I was definitely not holding my own body and pushing Windows' hind legs up as much as I should have been, and we lost some balance coming down to trot from canter. While this horse is conformationally built uphill, he wants to let me hold him up!

I had a ton of fun riding Windows, even though he totally exposed every single bad habit that I have! I'm excited to continue learning with this cool guy!


  1. Cool you have something new to ride some! I suck when I transition to other horses.

  2. Aww, Windows is adorable and sounds like a fun ride!

  3. Big horses are tough to ride, but what a great opportunity! :D

  4. Ooo he is so cute! And sounds like a great horse to play with. I love his name!

  5. Come ride my 17hh Trakehner! Or come ride my 4 y/o Trakehner with drunken sailor steering. You can get a lot of variety that way. LOL. Windows is a cutie.

  6. Ha, Windows. Love the name and his cute face! Don't make Dino too jealous though.

  7. He is super cute! Sometimes riding other peoples' horses makes me feel like I had such a GREAT learning experience, and sometimes it just makes me feel completely inept as a rider. So I hope Windows is the former for you! :D

  8. he is so handsome!!!! so exciting that you get to ride him now!! :D


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