Short version: my friend took out my young hunter, and rode him much better than I did (or ever have). She was noticed by the masters and members with “what a great horse!” comments abounding during and after the hunt. She’s now had my young horse out three times, and continues to impress everyone (including me who had no idea my young fellow could do the big, complicated fences and combinations she’s put him to.)
So, well, I’m a bit jealous of her!
Long version: My old (22 years old) hunter was unable to hunt for two years (heaves, now somehow cured, and then a hoof abscess that took 6 months to resolve and he had to grow a new hoof) --when the heaves were thought to be a permanent unsoundness (clearly not), I bought a young (10 year old) QH gelding. He is a wonderful horse, beautifully trained, a joy to ride. What he didn’t have was jumping on his resume. For four years using two trainers, we started with ground poles, and gradually, this summer he was doing a 2’ 4 course well. But on the hunt field, he never was “to my taste” as my old hunter.
The old hunter is dead quiet, sleeps at checks, keeps his distance, and jumps everything. The young fellow is eager, joyful, passionate about keeping with the hounds --and just “more horse” than I enjoy --however --in the 4, now 5 seasons he’s been out, he has never put a foot wrong --no buck, no rear, no disobedience. But he occasionally chips in, jumps long, or otherwise isn’t as smooth over fences.
I was griping to my friend about him --she’d been out with me a few times with her riding my old hunter --and she said, “Why aren’t you hunting the old fellow?” --lightbulb! So we switched horses the next hunt. I am so happy --I even took the old horse to the mega-vet (with all the fancy computer equipment) who said he was fine to hunt --I love hunting my old friend!
Meanwhile, I am a bit jealous that the young horse does so incredibly BETTER with my friend than he did with me —now, she’s 40 years younger than I am, and 40 pounds lighter ( young horse is 15 hh, I am almost 6’ tall --gal-pal is maybe 5’ 2) --and she has pretty extensive training in 3-Day riding —
I know this is best for the horse --and if dreams come true, about the time my old horse is no longer hunting, this young horse may well have settled in and become the hunt horse I want.
Meanwhile, hunting is only my winter sport --where the young horse excels is in my summer sport, Mounted Archery —oh, my gal-pal shoots too (sigh, better than me there, too), but she has a mare of her own that she uses for MA. And, my young horse is a lot of fun “just to ride,” which I do every day --ride the young fellow, pony the old guy and have fun.
Would you be just a tad jealous if someone rode your horse incredibly better than you ??