We rode again last night. No jumping this time, but still some excitement, because I changed mounts. Sky was a recalcitrant animal who’ll never canter without considerable encouragement from the crop – this time, he was given to a beginner, Miss D (the fact that he is almost completely oblivious to tugging, flogging and the heel is actually a virtue in his job, as it makes him very safe for new riders).
My new mount was led out, taller than all the other horses, a white coat heavily flecked with gray. This was Gipsy, and straightaway even I, a novice, could feel the difference. Gipsy is what our trainer calls “easy”. The merest hint is enough to steer her. As for pace, a touch of the heel, and she broke into a faster trot than Sky or Flint will ever do. Repeat this nudge, and she moves smoothly up to a canter that seems halfway to a gallop. Stopping is just as effortless – just say the word. The reins seemed almost superfluous. Such a fast and easy ride I had - a completely different experience.
The instructor had a word with me as I dismounted – “Ask for Gipsy in future. You’re able for her now.”