I gathered up Romeo, his hunt saddle, french link bit, and made sure my helmet still fit. *giggle* You know that feeling of, "never ridden this horse in this place, there's a lot going on, and while he's a saint 99.9% of the time, the one time I need him to be an angel, please don't be a dorkus freakus"? I had it irking through every darn nerve of my body.
I walked Romeo into the covered arena, tossed the reins over his neck, walked around him to tighten the girth, hopped aboard, and got to riding. Barb says to me, "Ride him like you normally do, I just want to watch him go a little bit."
So I did. We walked on a loose rein, we jogged out on a loose rein, I pushed him up to a rising trot with a little bit of contact. I asked for some canter both ways. Much to my dismay, the little fart blew his right lead three times before snagging it up correctly. Doofus. He didn't blink, he didn't spook, he didn't even look hard at the arena or the surroundings.
Barb says, "I love him. He's super quiet! I like that little jog. Keep his nose out there, it's cute! Don't tighten the reins... Yup, he's out of balance. Just needs some muscle." Then, the news I was sort of hoping to hear. "You should sell him. You'd get quite a bit for him, and that can go towards a new dressage horse."
She'll be posting the ad for him soon, and I'll link it back here. As a lady in the barn asked, "Why are you selling him?" I explained.. "Romeo has served his job VERY well in my life. I was terrified to ride, and there's got to be some other little kid or small adult out there terrified like I was. It's time for him to move on, and me to upgrade to a nice dressage horse. I can't do that and keep all three at home. Somebody's got to move on, and it's Romeo's time to go."
In the meanwhile, Romeo will enjoy 4 days a week or so, alternating every other day with Ransom. Mo will get work on all three gaits, as loose a rein as possible. The whole purpose will be to refresh his mind, and get his muscles back in shape. Now, my LittleMan has a job, at least for the time being. We'll still have goof off rides down the road, and maybe go push a cow or two. I might even pop him back over a few fences, and see if the old saddle fit issues are cleared from his memory.