It feels like that, every time I ride a new horse.

I’d mounted Reb, only to be told to get down and take Rinaldo.

Rinaldo. A livery chestnut now doing some duty in the school, the girls had alerted me to his presence last week. Long and lean, about 15.3, 16hh, I watched him jump like a dream and I knew I’d have to try him.

Today was apparently the day.

It didn’t go well.

His previous rider had told me he was a bit dull on the flat, but wait ’til he started jumping!

Never got there.

There were seven of us in the indoor, kicking up dust and going around in circles. Or at least everyone else was— I was struggling to get Rinaldo to go.

It was shades of Tango all over again. He wasn’t as obstreperous, but it was a battle that I lost. I was bouncing all over the place, wasn’t keeping my heels down, my hands were flying up in the air. I felt like a n00b all over again.

He wouldn’t give me the canter, and yes, I get it, it’s me. It is, in fact, a problem I have every time I ride an unknown horse. I’ll have to ask someone about it. When he did though: wow. Smooth and strong, my bum finding the seat without having to think about it.

Not a fun journey home, the usual self-recrimination, but nipped in the bud, solely through the benefit of experience. It was the same with Delilah, the same with Rebel. Tango, forget about it, never got into the groove with him. So, Rinaldo. Something tells me we’ll be seeing more of each other.

To think I missed Rebel! If that’s not something to think about it, nothing is.

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