My 15.2 mare is making me think the 13.0 mustang looks good. But after several years of riding 3 times/year whether she needs to or not, my wife lost her job and has now ridden 6 times in the last 10 days - all on the little mustang. 13 hands, a calm mind and sure feet: A good horse for my 55 year old wife to get back into riding on. And to forget about losing her job...
On a good note, sort of...my spooky Arabian mare finally ran into some cactus:
She kicked it a couple of times, fast, breaking off several sections and getting spines across about 2 feet of hind leg, then jumped forward. I gave a couple of bumps with the reins, she stopped (
) and spun 270 in the area with the arrow...and stopped completely. Once her back relaxed, I dismounted, led her to a better spot, and used a pair of folding pliers to remove the big spines.
But I stayed on, she mostly obeyed the habit of the last 6 months of making 'stops' a high interest item, and I didn't end up needing my passport 60 miles later as she bolted south into Mexico. For a mare that was doing the "OMG Crouch" every 10 minutes 6 months ago, that is a big improvement! Although she was still feeling a bit tense 20 minutes later, when the threat had changed from cactus to a huge moving van with rumbling sounds in its belly.
And yes, I often put one hand on the horn. I've used two hands on the reins for so long that it feels unnatural to put one hand on my thigh. Or maybe that is a cheap excuse, and my 55 year old body is afraid of slamming into pavement...
A more relaxed moment, before the cactus and rumbling moving van...and she finished the day's ride looking like that, too: