Horses can feel you more than you dare to believe. Whenever I try to ride a new horse, there is always this hidden excitement, this inner fear of how is going to be. And yes, this fear never stops to be there, even when you are an experienced rider (not me!) and you know are aware that you are about to mount a gigantic animal (8-10 times heavier than you!), with a chicken heart.
Luna is in her best riding shape (17 y) and she can easily lie about her age. She looks like a teenager at first encounter. She is quick in her mind and steps, with a vivid and joyful temperament, but having undergone of maltreatment at young age, she is super sensitive and extremely alert to all new riders.
After riding Mumi, an ex-competition and an excelent carriage Norwegian fjord horse, with Luna was a completely new experience. I had hundreds of butterflies in my stomach when I mounted her for the first time. After we took the first steps together, I instinctively had this feeling, she has so much to teach to me. My task was to calm her down as much as possible, as she is generally a very fast moving horse.
After a couple of round walks together in the hall, we started our trot in a tensed manner. I was annoyed and she reacted back exactly the same way. Had quick and insecure steps, ears flat back or turning around in every second like a fleeing zebra surrounded by a pack of jackal. I felt with every step how I am loosing completely my balance and control over her. Linda, who was following us from some distance quickly reacted to the scene: try your best to calm her down. Do yoga, do what you are good at. I didn't have much time to think, I just started to really breathe for the first time: deep long breaths in and out. Just focusing on my breath and looking straight ahead. The reins got loose and I colapsed back, deeply into the saddle. A few heavy moments, complete blackout and Luna changed 180 degree. She slowed radically her steps down, and we suddenly begun to walk and stare in the same direction. It was a split of second. And an imense magic. Just with a couple of balanced in- and exhale. And I never forget her left eye how she slightly gave me a quick glimpse back with a waggish smile on the edge of her mouth: truly, was it that difficult? :).