Two weeks ago, my mom had talked to my instructor about having me ride other event horses so that I could better understand how they compared and contrasted with my own, and to prepare for my HB and C3 in Pony Club. At first I though "Okay, this is going to be fun.. my horse has been a stinkbutt lately.." , but after a week of riding almost 10 different horses (2 or 3 a day) I have realized that it was way more than that.
By riding more horses I have learned:
-to respect my OWN horse more because even though he is not always perfect...he is much more willing and trusting than some of the others.
-how to evaluate my rides with more understanding and description than previously.
-how to become a better rider. Each horse had their own ups and downs, and I had to adapt to each and every one of them. One horse like to put his head down at the walk and trot.. so I had to sit up and sit deep (something I am not always good at). One horse had a cold back and was a hunter that didn't like to accept the bit. I had to learn to stay off of his back and use light contact because of his sensitivity, but also work on keeping him supple and relaxed so that he would learn to accept the bit. Others required more leg than mine, and some rushed into the canter.
So, if you ever have the chance to ride another person's horse (but not a crazy one!) then I guarantee you will learn a lot about yourself, your own horse, and the way that other horses are ridden.