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Riding, Roman

[Riding] Roman Replaced, Beginning with Banjo

(Wow, I get to do an alliterative title again this week! Even though my post is rather later than usual. I got back, moved some stuff to my storage unit, and then went to Batman Begins with seattlenick, so I have an excuse.)

Kara decided to swap me off of Roman for a week or two to change things up and force me not to get used to Roman's particular persnickety behaviors. So this week (and possibly next) I'm riding Banjo. Banjo is a buckskin Quarter Horse / Norwegian Fjord cross, who has the smoothest gait I've ever felt. He's also smaller than Roman, and has his own quirks.

Where Roman just prefers not to move when given the option, Banjo prefers to be right up against the other horse. Left to his own devices, he'll stop when he can't see the other horse in the lesson, cock his ear towards where he can hear them, and wait until they're near and move to join them. Took about ten minutes to get used to that, and get him moving where I wanted him.

My classmate was at a school thing for one of her children today, but we have a new classmate who just joined. She'd ridden when younger, but had ridden Western and now wanted to learn English. This was her very first lesson. So, despite my novice level of experience, I was the more 'advanced' rider in the class today and basically got free-form ride. I could pick what I wanted to do, and Kara would come and check on me between helping the newcomer.

Banjo was easier to get along with than Roman once I figured out his quirks. More easy-going. Once he and I came to an agreement, there wasn't much fuss; we trotted around, over poles, and did little figure-8's with Kara checking in to critique my posture and cues. But for all that Banjo was definitely easier, he's missing... well, Roman's 'spark,' for lack of a better term.

Banjo was nice enough, and is clearly well-loved by all his regular riders to judge from the vast quantity of treats and toys he receives. But he didn't give me the melodramatic 'oh, god, I have to go out into the RING and be RIDDEN? My life SUCKS, I'm so PUT UPON' routine that Roman does when I tack him up... and when we were done, he was pleasant enough to groom but didn't do Roman's excessive gestures of affection (nuzzling, horsie-hugs, drooling on my shirt). He seems very laid back, and I certainly don't mind riding him, but...

Now, in contrast? I actually took Roman out before I realized I wasn't on him this week, and then noticed the board. But since I had him out I checked over the thrush in his front hooves (and gave him the treatment), and put a little ointment on his bug-bite. Roman did the whole 'oh, woe is me, being ridden, grump grump' routine... and then suddenly looked greatly upset and hurt when I put him back in his stall. Plus, I ended up having to tack up Banjo right outside Roman's stall, and Roman just kept watching, wide-eyed. Roman's stall also has a window onto the ring, and he stood there at the window and watched the whole lesson.

When I was grooming Banjo afterwards, Roman came right to the edge of his stall and stomped, snorted threateningly at Banjo, banged his gate... and when I gave Banjo the coat treatment, mane treatment, and the 'thanks for being patient' cookie that I always do for Roman... whoo boy. I hadn't realized a horse could give the evil eye. And the noises! I think he must've been swearing at Banjo in horse language.

When I was putting away tack, one of the stable helpers had gone in to check on Roman (since he hadn't been fully groomed), and had left the stall door partway open. I walked past and Roman stuck his head out to try and grab me. So I went into his stall when I was done, and spent a little time with him to ensure I was forgiven.

Of course, his tirade was probably quite a bit of melodrama too. He didn't exactly have a bad day; rather than being ridden, he was turned out into the pasture and got to eat grass and lounge in the sun. So it wasn't like he had a lot to complain about!
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I find it informative and at the same time amusing to hear about horse personalities. Never really knew they could have a personality other than 'donkey-balk' and 'buck riders off'! The way you write to bring out Roman's personality is priceless. Don't stop!
Banjo, eh?

The end is nigh.
Sorry Rachel,
that last comment was me.

I am obviously not as recovered as i thought i was from my lack of sleep the last two nights.
That's twice today i've replied to other people's journals signed in on the wrong account.

Sigh.

is it bed time yet?

Kada - the mentally fuzzy
That's really amusing. Are you going to bring him a carrot or something next week anyhow, just so that he won't get too jealous? Poor aggrieved Roman. [grin] Still, it is really nice to get used to riding different horses. (I always had my favorites, though... usually the bitchy rambunctious ones. [rueful grin])