I've been given the opportunity to ride another boarder's horse a couple of times a week so he can stretch his legs a little more frequently than she's able to ride. He's a lovely old "solid citizen" sort of guy, in his 20s, with a little spunk under saddle but also a little stiff, with a bit of a sway back. Our fun will be of the controlled variety- although let's be honest, most of my fun is that way
Anyway, I've realized that it's been close to a year and a half since I've ridden a horse other than my lease mare. I'm really excited to ride another horse again, but I'd love some tips/advice on what you do during the "getting to know you period" when you're riding a new horse. How do you feel him out to see what he enjoys doing, what tough for him, and what's beyond the scope of what he can do comfortably given his age & conditioning?
I will have the opportunity to ride him in a few lessons with my instructor over the next couple of weeks, so I'll have eyes on the ground to comment on our specific partnership. But I'd be curious if there is a checklist of sorts that you tend to work through when getting to know a new horse.