Oh my goodness, I'm in love! Meet Navarro, my newest horse friend. This photo is of my riding instructor, Celine, riding him at Scarlett Oak Equestrian Centre.
He is an appaloosa quarter horse cross, and has the classic tail and mane of an appy- very thin. Appaloosas were bred by American Indians to be easy care, apparently, and a nice thin mane and tail causes less tangles and requires little grooming. In fact his mane is like a hogged mane but soft and wispy. His tail looks much thicker in this photo than in real life. It is his "blanket" that made me so excited - he has a spotty bottom. His spots are mostly brown, but some are black, and he is roan everywhere else. I have a passion for spotty horses. So when I saw Navarro it was love at first sight.
This story gets even better. I got to ride Navarro for my lesson today, and by the time I finished I was even more in love. He was fun to get ready. He just drifted off to sleep when I groomed him, although was a bit tense when I did his hooves. I forgot to say I got my new body protector vest this morning, so, feeling a little like I was wearing a stiff life jacket, I mounted up. Navarro was an absolute pleasure to ride. He was super laid back and lazy. Fantastic. We worked on circling in and out (using the leg yield technique) which was a bit dodgy because Navarro's steering is a bit of a challenge. We trotted and trotted and I got mad with myself because I kept rolling my hands inwards. I think we used to ride like that all the time- palms down - as my hands naturally return to that position every time I think of another body part. The vest made it tricky too. I'll get used to it. Then we cantered and cantered. It was so easy because he was sooooo smooth, both at trot and canter. My bottom didn't leave the seat at canter. I also did some trot poles, which I loved with my new vest on. It really made a huge difference to my confidence, and so did Navarro. I hope I get to ride him lots and lots. Celine even said now we've got the horse for me to do pre-pre-pre baby eventing on. Now there's a goal!
Zanny arrives back from visiting her randy lothario tomorrow, so I hope to have my first ride on her very soon. I hope she likes me!
Garden and crafty news tomorrow.