Poor Primo. He has had a very difficult weekend. As if yesterday wasn't bad enough, today proved tough as well. It was supposed to be enjoyable: his first horse show on "his" new horse. (Before anyone gets worked up: it's not really his horse, just the horse he is training on now.)
He had been riding Matty for the last three years, and they had become quite a pair. At his final horse show on Matty, he won champion for the first time, and they were both pretty proud of themselves. But Primo had grown, and his legs had gotten too long for Matty. He tried a couple horses this summer, and, much to his trainer's surprise, he really clicked with Harry: a 17 hands high ex-racehorse. Harry is so tall that, when Primo is standing next to him, the top of Primo's head does not reach Harry's back. Despite Harry's size, they were doing so well that his trainer decided to enter them in a show after only four lessons.
It was an unqualified disaster. Primo was nervous, Harry was nervous. The pair of them fed off each other until both were beside themselves. Harry was trying to do his best for Primo, but he was unsure what Primo wanted, and so he cantered when Primo wanted to trot, and stopped when Primo wanted to walk, and went forward when Primo wanted to stop, and it just generally did not work out so great. After the first class, Primo was in tears and Harry was sweating so heavily that he looked as if he had just raced four miles, flat out.
To her credit, Primo's trainer did not let him quit. She insisted he finish his classes, and then took him to an empty ring to let him trot around and prove that he could really ride Harry. Primo can't wait to ride him again at his lesson this week. But it's going to be a long time before Primo wants to show him.
Poor kid, he can't wait to get back to school.