|Sully The Giant Puppy At Your Service|
The not-so-great part is that you kind of forget how to ride anything else.
After an uninspiring jump school yesterday, for which I neglected to put on spurs and sorely regretted it, I got to hop on Sully!
Whenever I get on someone else's normal sized horse, I expect to feel a little bit of apprehension. I anticipate some mild fear. I rarely ride anything besides Dino, and while I will get on any pony, anytime, anywhere, "big" horses can make me feel a little tentative in my old age.
Not so with Sullivan! This horse, guys. He is the coolest, and I didn't fully appreciate him until I got to play around with him a bit yesterday evening. He rides like a 16h pony, and has the heart of a Labrador Retriever in a horse's body. He IS half Connemara, after all, which is probably a lot of why he felt instantly comfortable and pony-like to me.
Sully is the perfect amateur horse. He's inherently lazy in the arena, but still so willing and honest, and just REALLY WANTS TO BE A GOOD BOY. Even if he is tired and sluggish, if you ask, he tries. Sully wants to please, and that's a trait that is so lovely and foreign to me in a horse.
The moment I hopped on this overgrown pony, I felt comfortable. I asked him to come onto the bit in the walk, and Sully obediently obliged. While he is still a bit green in some ways, and could be challenging to keep connected, I found Sully super easy and fun to ride on the flat. As we floated around the jump field in trot and canter, I had a mile-wide grin on my face. This guy can MOVE when you help him out a bit, and I think he'd be the most fantastic local hunter!
We finished the ride with a few small fences, and I totally screwed up the first couple jumps. My eye was not in any way adjusted to Sully's long, slow, lopey step, and I kept anticipating another stride where there was definitely not one! I got majorly left behind, and good boy Sully never once complained. Eventually I figured it out, and we ended by jumping some low oxers and an in-and-out. I had a blast riding Sully - he's such a neat guy!
Riding Sully also gave me a new appreciation for my own skill set. While I certainly didn't perform any miracles in the 15 minutes I spent on his back, I was able to thoughtfully guide this horse I'd never sat on before and mold his way of going for the better.
Riding Sully also showed me that riding Dino is also a lot of damn work.
Sure, Sully took some reminders now and then to keep his body aligned and needed lots of support in his downward transitions, but it was cake compared to every waking second on Dino's back. Riding my pony is like trying to convince an intelligent, willful pre-teen to do his chores. Many of my requests are not met with "Yes, ma'am," but with, "Let's make a deal..." and every day is an exercise in gaining Dino's respect and harnessing what work ethic I can find in him.
My EuroPony is a difficult little punk, and his pal Sully has helped me appreciate the rider he's made me.