So today, I ended up riding a horse with a vastly different temperment. He's one of the regional reserve champions in jumping, so he's extremely athletic, and he has beautiful conformation... but he does NOT like doing flat work at all. Refuses to trot, stops whenever you stop applying pressure, and generally makes life difficult.
He'll turn wherever I want him to -- as long as I have him moving -- and his gait is lovely and he turns on a dime (in fact, he turns on a dime at a *canter*, which rather impresses me), but it's keeping him moving -- or getting him to go fast if there's not a jump involved -- which is the real challenge. This meant I really, really had to work this lesson.
Roman has a number of other personality quirks -- basically, he's fundamentally lazy unless being allowed to jump -- and Kara defines him as 'if he were human and had his way, he'd be collecting unemployment and watching monster truck rallies while eating a bag of Doritos.' He's also a pig; offer him food, and he'll not only eat it, but he'll then coat you liberally in snot and drool as he sniffs and licks every square inch of you looking for pockets which might conceivably contain more. (My riding shirt is an absolutely frightful sight at the moment.)
However, what Kara was trying to also illustrate -- and did so spectacularly -- is that I'm almost too gentle with the horses; with Chester, I don't need to push, but Kara points out that I'm not being assertive/aggressive enough to make Roman do what I want.
He is, however, very affectionate, and I imagine once I'm ready to jump, he'll be cooperative, since he'd happily spend an entire day running around jumping over things. But right now, I /ache/ from argument with the horse over what we were doing. Not sure yet if I'll be on Roman next week, or on Chester again.
I /did/ go by and visit Chester afterwards, though, and gave Coalby and Chester each part of an apple. Roman, as the one I rode, got the rest of the apple and the whole carrot... hence the rather startling state of my riding shirt.
Dinner, and ooooh, maybe I should take a nice long hot soak, since I drive to Canada tomorrow...