I talked to Barbara, owner of Blue Ribbon Meadows. We discussed through email a lesson horse she had named Buddy. He is 17.0H tall, and was teaching little kids & beginner adults. I made plans to take Chewie for a trade. Then Buddy found a new home (I found out later, this was for the best, for many reasons). I talked to Barbara, and she must have heard my desire and need for a quiet mount, because she called many times Friday night.
Finally, she introduced me via phone to Ransom, an older lesson horse that's "seen the countryside and is ready to settle down with one person." He's a teenager, coggins say he was born in 1992 - teeth pretty much agree with that. His show name is "Tidal Wave." He's jumped in hunters & jumpers, takes an easy bit, and carries around little lesson kids, now in his semi-retirement, after being shown all over the US.
I figured I'd be in over my head on this smart horse, but wanted to know in my heart I tried. On the ground, Ransom was a gentleman, although a bit pushy leading. Tacking & grooming, he was a saint. I stood by and watched while Ms Barbara's groom saddled him. We went to a covered arena, where two other ladies were riding. The groom explained Ransom has been carrying all kinds around, and he won't do anything bad to me at all.
I donned my helmet, and crawled on. Les stood by, watching intently. We walked, we walked, and walked. I mustered courage, and tried to sit his trot. Holy Moley! He took off! Scared the willies outta me! I finally got him stopped, and tried again. Turns out Ransom likes a posting trot, and will adjust his stride to the post. OOH! He's so freaking smart, he was reading me. The more tense I got, the slower he got, carefully adjusting his body to each move I made. I felt he wasn't going to let go of me, but he was waiting on his "stop cue". Barbara explained that "If you squeeze your thighs & use those knee rolls, he'll stop." Sure 'nuf, Ransom shut down in a matter of feet. I laughed inside - he's the opposite of Romeo. You squeeze Rom, hold on! He'll go go go! You squeeze Ransom, he stops.
As Chewie & the groom entered the arena, I felt my focus change and fear rise. Les suggested we head to the round pen. I had a rhythm with Ransom by then that wanted to canter, but sure didn't want to do it in a large arena full of other horses.
We cantered twice in the round pen. Ransom was short & Uphill in his stride. I figured out how to squeeze to slow him, but until I did, that first canter, he shortened and shortened and shortened, but didn't let go of me for a second. No buck, no fart, no twisting. He just proceeded forward.
He's a neat horse. I have taken pictures, and he's every bit 16.3H. Blood bay, dark front legs, back legs blend red to black to bright white socks & hooves. Black mane, black tail, with red points. He's adorable.
Can't wait to ride more!