I’m not sure how big Merlyn is, but I think he’s just an inch or two away from being a pony. He’s very clever, though, and has some “pony tricks” up his sleeve when he’s in the mood to use them. But overall he’s a good boy and a fantastic horse for me to hack around. He’ll occasionally spook at a deer or something if he’s feeling fresh or wants a distraction, but it’s not one of those balk-spin-bolt type of spooks that makes me think I’m going to die. His spook is more of a startle and a snort, then we can move on.
If I remember correctly, Merlyn is an arab-lipizzaner cross on one side and an appendix Quarter Horse on the other, and I believe he’s around 11 years old. He’s very well schooled on the flat and will go nicely as long as he’s ridden correctly (therein lies the challenge), and Merlyn has successfully competed through training level eventing. I usually prefer to ride him out in the fields, so I’ll often do trot sets on him.
Incidentally, I love doing trot sets. Back when I rode all the time and actively competed, I thought trot sets were so boring! Nowadays I’d much rather be out in the fields trotting around, enjoying the scenery and fresh air, than confined to a schooling ring trying to canter the perfect circle, practice lateral exercises, or whatever.
Merlyn is another horse I’ve taken loads of pictures of while riding to post on various social media networks or make animated GIF files. Here are a few links:
Gifboom: http://gifboom.com/x/9f373d00, http://gifboom.com/x/77bd7f61, and http://gifboom.com/x/9f0a7988
Instagram: http://instagram.com/p/g5y9v4n5Wh/, http://instagram.com/p/glkT7qn5dk/, http://instagram.com/p/gLrFsNn5SK/, and http://instagram.com/p/dzV5hkH5WV/