I let my friend ride Sabra

The week before last, Sabra and I had a particularly good lesson – one of those rides where everything just comes together and things just click for us. As a result, when we started doing courses, my trainer bumped the jumps to 3′ (well, one outside line she left at 2’3″, but the rest were 3′). Sabra cruised around easily, while I still need to work on staying low over the fences; we’re getting better, though, as long as I keep thinking calm and quiet.

Anyway, at the last show, E, who I took lessons from through most of high school and who I now brunch with every other month or so, agreed to come ride Sabra. I like watching good riders hop on Sabra; I so rarely get to see what she looks like from the ground, and it’s interesting to hear people’s assessments of her and what we need to work on, based on their feel of her.

E is one of those riders who everyone envies; he has just a natural, relaxed feel, and never loses his touch. He liked Sabra a lot; his comments were:

  • She’s sensitive, but listens well.
  • She moves like a bigger horse than she is, and can easily make the strides.
  • She’s very smooth, both on the flat and over fences.
  •  She needs help finding a distance, but will leave from whatever spot you ask.
  • She has quite a bit of scope, and really pushes off hard when she jumps.
  • When you want to turn, you have to be serious when you ask, or else she will drift. You also have to then straighten her out before the fence.
  • She doesn’t ride as green as she actually is. He forgot that she’s only been going for a year.

 It’s hard to believe that a year ago, I got Sabra in a trade. When I first tried her, she could w/t/c, but not well, and she didn’t really halt. She was unbalanced, and didn’t know where her feet were. We had to stay two feet off the rail because she couldn’t turn, and would fall all over the place when we came to a corner. She didn’t know how to carry herself, much less jump. She’s grown up so much, and it’s amazing how quickly she’s progressed.

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