Friday, December 17, 2010

Sera vs. Rosso

I think it's hard to have two horses. I've always owned one. Learned that one horse and that horse's abilities and quirks. Currently I'm riding both Sera and Rosso each weekend with Rex.

It's really interesting to see how they differ.

I am perfectly comfortable on Sera - even if she's a bit of a bitter fish at times. We were working on flying changes earlier in the year. Last Sunday we were in the middle of a 3 loop serpentine at canter for the counter-canter. During the middle loop her little ears went back, she wrinkled a nostril and she leaped in the air kicking out with both back legs.

Flying change.

Not a pretty one tho' it was clean I am told. I don't have much feel for this yet either. We aren't at the part of "learning a flying change" where it's pretty yet. Not even close.

I wasn't expecting it.

It was this big, sort of ugly, surprising movement... I laughed a bit and on we went not skipping a beat. It didn't unsettle me or unseat me. Not one little bit.

She is high headed and short backed. Partly the way she's built. She holds in her back notoriously. She can never be deep enough. When she gets tense - at a show or when learning new things - up goes her neck and her back locks against me.

When I think she is deep and long in her neck, and I feel happy because I've gotten her stretching down so much? We go past a mirror. Uh. Right. She really isn't all that deep - nothing to be proud of so much. Makes me laugh at myself. Especially compared to other horses who seem to root in the arena sand with their noses.

She is a hard nut to crack from front to back but she really, really likes her lateral work. When she gets tired, she rushes, gets on the forehand and tries to anticipate what I want. I have to half halt to slow her down, get her attention back on me and what I'm asking.

Then I ride Rosso.

And while my confidence is returning... I am very aware of paying attention to his body language. His ears. If they shoot forward and focus on one thing and his head begins to come up... I better get his attention back on me pronto.

I don't think he'd really do much in Rex's indoor arena and he's never had a big, violent outburst with a rider. My issue is in my head. I know this.

I don't fully trust him. Not yet anyway. I think we are on the right road to having a good relationship but... it's not there yet. Lots more work ahead of us. Ahead of me, that is, in my funny, wee, little brain.

He is tall and leggy with a long back. He carries himself very low... hello... where ARE his ears? He doesn't curl up and disappear; I can still feel him in the reins but he is one of the sort of horses that would like to root around in the sand with his upper lip. Very opposite of Sera and what I'm used to from riding her. Can be a bit unsettling to me.

His back is very loose and relaxed. He is long and limber with lots of movement. He is easy to balance from front to back - not so much in the lateral movement. When Rosso gets tired he offers to stop. All of a sudden there just isn't much forward anymore. He half stops and I push, push, push him to go on as he is slowly fading away.

Go figure.
They are complete opposites.

Hopefully these differences, recognizing them and riding them will make me a better rider and horse person.

Hope I figure it out.

Or one of these days, I'll be living in a van down by the river.....


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that horses have such very different personalities and styles. Although they're intelligent enough for this to be understandable.
You could write a horse psychology book about your two.

~Tonia said...

Well I guess you could always say you have different personalities and so you need a horse for each
I know Next to Nothing about horse back riding other than an occasional every few years riding someones horses.. We owned a few but never had enough time or knew enough to do right by them. SO we sold them or found them new homes...
However we may one day get a mini just so my girls can say they have a horse!Lol As long as he is smaller than my goats it will work...I think...

Shanster said...

Dedene - oh, it'd be a short book....I know a drop in 'da bucket. grin.

Tonia - one of our neighbors wants to get some mini's... I'll let you know if that ever happens!