Simon

For my last semester as an Equine Studies major, I'm taking Jump II, which meets twice a week and Training and Handling II in which I'll saddle break a medium Welsh pony and eventually be riding five days a week, plus one day a week of team flat practice and possibly one day a week of team jump practice.  I can also ride Phoenix, the small Welsh, virtually as much as I want.  You can't say I'm not getting my ride time, despite not having a horse of my own!

We rode for the first time in Jump II today, and I'm on Simon.  Simon is a tall nondescript bay Thoroughbred who, over the course of his time here at school, has developed a tendency to occasionally take off bucking for no reason.  It's totally out of character for him, since he's normally a quiet, well-mannered, easy-going gentleman of a horse, and it never has a reason - he just does it.  Once it happened over a fence which contributed to the most spectacular scary accident we've had in a while. 

He did spook today, which consisted of going along like a dead-head at the trot and then suddenly taking off running into the center of the arena out of the corner.  I pulled him up fairly easily and he never offered to throw a buck, and immediately afterward we went back on the rail gamely trotting along like nothing had happened.  For being such a chicken, I handled the spook pretty well, although my heart was pounding afterward.  I am in Jump II, I should be able to handle stuff like this, so maybe this will be a good exercise in riding something that's a little more exciting.  It's not like the whole ride is exciting, the whole ride is fairly easy although he makes you work for everything you get from him.  We'll see what happens when we start jumping.

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