Holding on to the reins, I could feel Rocky being a little antsy, this isn't my first experience with a stallion.
Rocky flung forward towards the two horses coming down the track, I pulled him up and grumbled with a stern voice, I am not a complete fan of disrespectful stallions, "Don't worry, this isn't my first hurrah!" I laughed. I push him into a trot which he automatically collected on, this was nice, he was a powerful horse but nothing I haven't experienced before. Alex was looking on with a disapproved look on her face, I knew how she felt about stallions like this, but, having a herd of 20 stallions back at Wedgewood, I wasn't fussed. We didn't have many stallions over at Langtree, we don't have the facilities to accommodate a large group.
Before I had time to find my footing, Rocky pushed up into a canter, he was responsive to my aids but maybe had some energy to burn and well, a new rider, he was going to test my buttons weather I approved or not.
I finally found my seat and gently sat deep into my saddle, "Come on, just do this for me, we could be good friends ya know" I spoke to the stallion as I eased back on the reins, Rocky's ears were flicking back and forward, he wanted to listen but he was too busy testing out all my buttons.
"Maybe you need a firmer hand, I gave you the chance to listen" I collected my reins and applied slight pressure and sat even deeper in my seat, with my outside leg I pushed deep into his side, his ears flung backwards and he gave a decent pigroot, I pushed again and grumbled at him, he wasn't going to win this battle.
I turned him into a smaller circle and asked for a trot, "well, well, there it is" he came down into a nice rounded trot, I gave him his head and raised out of my seat, he seemed to relax when he worked out that I wasn't going to give in to his behaviour.
"She knows how to handle stallions" Alex said as she turned to Paige who looked like she had seen a ghost, I didn't think she expected him to throw in a tantrum.
"She has always had some odd way about handling them, she is superhuman sometimes, give her a mare though, disaster" I heard Alex laughing from across the yard, I pushed Rocky up into a more forward trot, his impulsion was splendid, he would make a excellent dressage mount. I got past Alex and pushed my leg out towards her, lets see how Rocky handles our antics back home, we are always playing some kind of game when we ride, this was one of them. Rocky actually seemed to enjoy the fun and games, he pricked his ears forward and upped into a canter, I let him, I gave him the reins and sat deep, he cantered the whole arena before I realised he actually might become a decent mount for me back home. We had a horrible start but he was listening, he was still pushing at the bridle but I think he knew I had him bluffed.
He gave another small buck when I bought him back into a forward trot, i wasn't fussed, he had some oomph, I respected that.
Keith had set up a few jumps around the arena. "he can jump right" I yelled out across the arena.
I grew show jumping, the jumps didn't bother me but I always got a little nervous jumping new horses and this boy was powerful, I brought him back to a slow trot and turned him towards the jumps, I could feel under me that he was tense, I had to do everything in my power to give him the reins, but not too much that he would rip me out of the saddle.
The last thing I needed was to come down on my ass in front of potential business. "Bleu, let him do his thing" Alex yelled out. "he wants to jump, let him, see how he jumps and then correct yourself"
I swallowed the lump in my throat and pushed him to a canter, I collected my reins and sat deep, the jump felt like it was miles away, I couldn't prepare myself before we hit it, I grabbed hold of some mane and lent forward, he was a little rushed but we cleared it, he popped back into a trot on the other side and happily trotted around while i was trying to hold onto the cake Paige fed us.
I pulled him to a stop in front of Alex and Paige.
I looked so pale, I was terrified but also happy that I actually did it, I normally start with small jumps but it would seem Keith didn't put anything smaller out for me to practice on, oh well, bite the bullet don't they say!
"Are you ok?"
"hmm? " I paused.
"Oh yeah, sorry, just catching my breath, he is something else"
Rocky stood still, chewing on the bit in a loose rein, I patted him on the neck. "Do you mind if I took him out?"
Paige looked concerned but Keith butted in and opened the arena gate and smacked Rocky on the bum.
"Get out then" he smirked.
I clicked Rocky to a walk and slowly walked down the track "I'll be back, maybe!" I laughed.
I needed some one on one time with him without anyone butting in, he happily walked down the lane and wasn't overally fussed about the horses running down the fenceline next to him, I think I may have worked all that energy out of him, I gave him a loose rein and sat back, this was nice, this is what I like to do most days, that arena work was boring sometimes, its nice to get out in the open and be among nature on top of a nice relaxed horse.
I saw a long lane way coming up, it looked like the perfect place to let him have a good gallop, I collected my reins and pushed him forward, he was happy to come up into a nice framed canter, but I wanted him to know that he could have some control, when I let him, I dropped my reins and pushed him forward, the stallions ear pricked forward and he jumped forward into a gallop, I sat up and just enjoyed the ride. I needed this, the true test is when we get to the end and have to stop!
I saw the end coming and sat back in my seat and collected my reins, I asked for him to come back and he did, I was relived to say the least, he was a powerful horse but not an unreasonable one. I give, he gives, it was a nice harmony.
I decided to hop off and walk him back to the arena, Paige and everyone was waiting, I think they might have thought he dumped me and took off, I came back bringing a smile with me, what can I say, I was sold.
"What can I say? He might be the right horse for us"
I looked over at Alex who actually shot a smile across to me for the first time today. I take buying horses seriously, but sometimes I just have to go with my gut.