I won't post a picture of horse number two because my experience was not a good one.
His owner had answered a Horse Wanted Ad that I had placed on a Facebook page. My ad stated that I was a nervous Adult Amateur looking for a bombproof horse with life experience. She said her horse fit the bill perfectly.
So, I went out and saw him this morning.
She pulled him out of his stall and put him in the cross ties where he had his raised up, the whites of one eye showing and was shifting from side to side.
I asked if it was his Appaloosa eye making it look like he was nervous or was he nervous. She said that he was kind of up today because they were doing work on the barn.
At that moment, I knew he was the wrong horse for me, but I wanted to stay committed just in case he 'seemed' more energetic. When she was putting boots on him, he tried to pull his leg away. Then he pawed in the crossties.
She got on him first and he was very looky in one corner. His head went up and his body got stiff. He didn't spook, but he didn't look relaxed. She rode him and he seemed very forward. Since she's more a jumper type, I didn't worry too much about it.
I told her that I was pretty nervous to get on him. She offered to walk next to his head until I got comfortable. I think she was one of those girls who has not experienced fear in her life. If I have to have someone walk next to the horse's head, it's not the right horse!
So, I got on and walked and then trotted. His trot was forward and rushed. I had to take a super firm contact on the reins to keep him in check. He zoomed around the arena. His body bunched up every time we went even close to one side, so I kept him on a twenty meter circle. I turned him to go the other way and he tried to jump into the canter. I could feel that every time I tightened a muscle, his whole body got tense. I got off, handed her the reins and said "He's a nice horse, but not for me."
She looked surprised, but I gave the horse a pet and left. He was not a horse for a nervous rider at all. Then, I went back and was looking at some other ads and found an ad for him for sale. From two months ago. She had told me she only owned him a month because she got him in a trade, so she was upfront about that. However, I saw the original Facebook posting (on a local horse for sale FB group) where his original owner said "He is very loving, willing and tries to please. He is sensitive and therefore needs a confident rider"
I agree with her one hundred percent. Cute horse. Tries hard. But he was VERY sensitive to my body and he would be a TERRIBLE match for a nervous rider. Sigh.
In other news, I'm going to go ride Licorice a second time and even take him out on a trail ride! I'm also looking for a few other local horses to try to see how they feel. Licorice isn't technically for sale yet, but once he is for sale, he will sell fast so I'll need to have some sense of comparison so I can make a sound decision. I'm really grateful to have my trainers helping me figure this out. They are super busy with local dressage championships next week, but after that they are going to come watch me ride Licorice!