Well, I officially started half-leasing Pella on June 1st and the experience has been fun so far. Mostly....
She's a really fun mare to ride. I finally understand the halt aids and therefore the half-halt aids and it has been a truly wonderful experience to ride a horse that knows more than I do. (Oh, so *that's* the big deal about a broke horse!) I hadn't realized how truly defensive my riding had become until I got on a horse that stops every time you clamp your thighs down. And those stiff arms? Her head pops right up in the air to tell me she doesn't approve. I've only been able to ride her in one lesson but I'm seeing a huge improvement in my riding just from what she's been teaching me during our rides. I'm more relaxed and, it turns out, a better rider than I thought I was!
That being said she has some soundness issues that I'm not sure I want to take on. They might be manageable but so far I've had quite a few days I haven't ridden just because she wasn't completely sound. And, those of you who have been with me on this journey will understand why this makes me nervous.
But more importantly, I'm not sure she's a good match for me. If you've ever been on a date and spent the entire time thinking about someone else then you're close to how I feel about Pella. She's a nice mare, very honest when she's working, and I like her. But I don't wake up on my ride days excited to go and see HER. And that seems wrong to me. I've talked to my trainer about it and we're going to look at some other horses too. I'm not saying no to this one, but I'm not sold on her either. In the meantime, I'm having a wonderful time riding and learning and I'm grateful to her for sharing her time and expertise.