The switch from Gem to Eeyore was pretty smooth in a lot of ways. They are built very similar being table backed, wide and down hill. They are both forward thinking, sensitive horses and both have opinions about all the things. Eeyore is much braver than Gem. He has yet to spook at anything. He is also naughtier in that he will buck whereas Gem has never, ever offered to buck, bite, kick or rear. All in all though, the change felt comfortable and learning Eeyore wasn't a massive shift.
Hamilton though is completely different than anything I've ever sat on. The most obvious is that he is pretty much a blank slate and has zero buttons installed. He has a lot of awesome traits installed already such as absolutely impeccable ground manners, but when it comes to being under saddle he really is clueless as to what I'm asking from him.
|It is a small picture, but I am grinning from ear to ear. And like...at least one of us is looking where we are going.|
His movement is also very different. His long legs translate to a naturally longer stride. While he isn't in a rush to go anywhere, the fact that he covers 1.5x the ground with every stride than Eeyore does makes it seem like he is flying even when we aren't going anywhere at all. I can only imagine what he will feel like when we unlock his giant body and get him moving openly and freely.
Along those lines, he is also less earthbound than my prior two mounts. Both Gem and Eeyore have a hard time defying gravity and naturally pull with the front versus push with the hind. Hamilton was born more uphill with a natural loft to his gaits. The first time I trotted him I asked Dusty if he was lame. It felt so different than anything I've experienced to date. He just....boings.
Brain wise Hamilton is everything I was looking for. Gem was always a mental ride more than a physical one and Eeyore isn't a whole lot better. Eeyore comes out with a plan already in place and when I waver from it we have issues. Or when life gets a little hard. Or when he thinks we should be done but we aren't. It is a constant struggle to keep him mentally engaged in the task and not plotting and planning something that I will more than likely not enjoy.
Hamilton, on the other hand, shows no inclination to have an opinion about much at all. He is very drawn to the in gate but beyond that he really just does what is asked or at least his version of what is being asked. No temper tantrums. No debates. No issues. Sure he knows next to nothing and gives the wrong answer more than the right but it is only because he doesn't know the right answer. Once he figures it out, he makes sure to give me what I want. I'm sure there will be rough days and frustrations, he is an animal with his own brain, but he is an inherently easy going dude.
|First time with ground poles? No problem!|
His biggest flaw at the moment is a lack of a go button. He'd rather stroll and stop to smell the roses, which to be frank is perfectly fine by me. I really have no interest in yet another zooming monster. My electric butt will likely change this, but I am working really, really, really hard at staying soft and relaxed to avoid teaching him bad habits.
Having two completely different beasts to ride is going to be very challenging in a great way. I'm looking forward to continuing to plug away at Eeyore while getting a bit of a break when I ride Hamilton. Its a different type of learning curve with him and one I am really excited to partake.
|First Hamilton selfie|