When I worked as a groom I got to ride a lot of amazing horses. I don't know if I can pick just one!
In college I got to ride a upper level dressage horse, that was an amazing feeling! Such little movements could communicate so much!
After college I started working as a groom and I got to ride such great horses quite often:
I got to ride several other horses as a "catch ride" on the flat if you will:
Three's and Seven's
I also ALMOST got to ride For the Moment! We were laying over in Tampa waiting to leave for the World Cup Finals and Lisa was leaving and her groom didn't ride and she asked me to flat him the next day. Unlucky for me Beezie was staying and she got the ride instead! Oh well, it was amazing to even be asked!
I've never ridden anything like some of you all. I did get a lesson on a really kind, older Andalusian who knew waaaay more than me. I couldn't appreciate it then - wish I could go back and do it again.
My first little horse was a Mustang when I was 12 or 13. There was nothing I couldn't do with her.....I'd do anything to have that feeling again.
Best horse in terms of schooling would have to be the GP trained Lippy the old assistant trainer/friend of mine owned. I had several lessons on her and once I figured out the "language" I needed to speak, they were some of the most educational and enjoyable lessons I've ever had. This mare floated above the ground when you got her moving correctly!
Best ride was a short fat Lep Dun App mare Quantico Marine Base had in their lesson program. She was the biggest PITA but after she liked you she would do anything. She was my lead trail horse and I even used her in lessons with the more advanced kids. You could not lean forward at ALL or she was ....OFF>........! I wish I knew where Popcorn was now
The second was a CSH named Moose (prob not his registered name). He was the BO's horse and she would put ppl on him because he dumped most. 17.2h big bay with a stripe and some white. He was her PSG horse and would get bored and do stupid stuff. I thought he was cool with his random Tempis, Passage and flying lead changes
*^*^*^ Himmlische Traumpferde
"Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
Sentimentally, my old boy and his predecessor.
But for the "highest training level" it was an instructor's horse. Mare had been competitive through PSG and trained (tho not real competitive) though I-2.
It was a fun and sobering experience! I thought I was sitting quietly, but every twitch got a reaction and I found myself suddenly getting lateral work or flying changes. Mare was not above using her training for her own purposes. I did get to figure out some of the buttons and got some really cool work - on purpose. Lots of fun and really useful when my horse and I were trying to learn together.
Just rode him a few weeks ago - a National Champion Performance Paso Fino gelding named Rival de La Estancia. That horse is pure, controlled POWER. It was like being on the back of a rocket ship. He is for sale, and I want him very badly. Just have to win the lottery first.
What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!
Best in terms of showing was an old mare who'd won the big jumper classes at the Del Mar Nationals, back in the day. In about 1980 or so, my riding instructor picked her up, at age 26, on a free lease. She still loved to jump, though she wasn't good for much more than 2'6". She knew her job
More recently? No equine superstars here, but a TB/Connemara gelding who's gone Prelim in eventing and could do more. He's not my style of horse at all, but I have to say I appreciate what he is.
Best in terms of just best? My exasperating, wicked smart, fancy little Morgan mare
My dear departed boy....but also this thread makes me think of a lesson horse I rode a long long time ago, that I wish I could have bought. A total sourpuss fleabitten grey mare, not really beautiful, living in a stall at a lesson barn that had a leaky roof. I was too young to know any better, too young to have the money or chutzpah to pry her out of that situation. She was a complete crank, pinned ears all the time, ring sour, but what fabulous gaits. If I could time-travel I would go back and get her and pamper her and make those ears poke forward.....
An Irish Sport horse hired field hunter named Silver. I was 3/4 out of the tack landing at the base of a HUGE drop bank, and he just kept cantering on steadily and straight as an arrow while I laboriously hauled myself back into the saddle. That's an honest horse!
My babysitter put me on a QH cutting stallion named Speedy Yucca when I was about 10. We worked a cow! Unforgettable.
I was very fortunate to be a working student for a event trainer growing up. She was out of a facility that had top barns for not just eventing, but dressage and jumpers as well. I was lucky to be asked to hack some of the amazing imported dressage horses for the neighboring trainer (oh to be able to ride a horse with THAT movement – swoon). And gallop sets on some of the fantastic GP jumpers for the other neighbor.
I was also allowed to ride my trainer’s advanced horses – in lessons, including jumping – that was great!
But the best – was a semi retired advanced level eventer (he had done the Pan Am games) that came to live with me. I was able to call him my own for a few years – he taught me a ton. What a GREAT jump feels like. How to get there just right (he didn’t put up with bad riding – but when you rode well – wowza!)
Got to ride several world champion Padded horses...they are amazing!!!!