Riding Contender


Must...look past...the mane...
I finally got a chance to ride Contender this week, twice.  I schooled him in the ring at the HHP.

I had a big stupid grin on my face the whole time I was riding him and enjoyed it so thoroughly!  He's so determined to get where he's going, so sensitive, so reactive.  He's a hard worker, but with more of a Husky's predisposition to work than a Golden Retriever's.  He reacts in a big way to the tiniest aids, which makes him a blast to ride.  No pushing here!  I got a leg yield and a shoulder-in out of him after he hadn't been ridden in close to a year.
I had a walk/trot ride on him on Wednesday, but today I had a W/T/C ride on him, and the canter was what did it for me.  He was practically bouncing off the ground with controlled energy, and enjoying himself so much.  He gave some grunts of playfulness and determination when I asked him to pick up the right lead.  I'd love to see what this little guy does over a jumper course.  I can see where his former trainer thought he should be in a stronger bit, but for me, that's not the route I'd take.  He's strong, but he comes back easily, and he has a nice, sensitive mouth that I think needs to be preserved.  He'll never be a kids' pony, but he's perfect...for someone like me.

Good pony.

Sigh.  That's the problem.  It's not time yet, and I'm not going to force it to be.  She needs to continue to market him and not keep him back for me, and I've told her that.  Two to three years from now is the magic time, not now.  If there was a way to do it sooner, I'd do it in a heartbeat.  A glowing chestnut with a personality to match, a white-flaxen mane and tail, AND he's going to stay pony at around 14.0-14.1?  Sign me up, seriously.

I only hope something as suited to me is still around when I can afford to buy.

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