Most of you probably didn't read about Major's stifle problems in the health subforum, but on Tuesday, he appeared to be going lame and his right hind leg was continually locking up. He ended up going home on Wednesday and is "doing better" apparently.. although who knows, I'll be going up tomorrow. Meanwhile, a girl and her mom are letting me ride their English horse, Whisper. (who was trained by a girl who was killed in a riding accident three years ago, she was in the Royals the year before the accident; he was her first horse so I felt really special to be riding him with the girl's mom and dad watching us)
I figured, "okay.. he might be a little speedier than Major.. but manageable). I took him into the smaller arena in an attempt to get used to him but I only had a good ten minutes before I had to go up to my lesson. I told the instructor how this was my first time on him, so she allowed me to just trot around for awhile.
His trot? Very, very speedy.. and a tad rough, but I'm comparing him to Major since I've gotten so used to him. It took a good ten minutes to get him slightly collected and giving in to light contact. He was great at backing up with very light pressure though.
His canter was right up there with the gaming ponies/horses and needless to say, I'm used to a very relaxed, slow to moderate speed canter. Whisper ended up bucking a bit so I ended up circling and stopping behind the other horses.
While doing a circle exercise, he cantered the circle like he was going around barrels.
Moral of the story, I'll never be a speed demon.. although I think the fact that I really had no sweet clue about him (aside from what others had told me) is what made me so nervous about the speed. Had it been Major, I'd have been quite content, haha.