rear whell drive mower

Hi all,
My daughter ran over a huge rock and bent the shaft of my almost new Honda mower. Needless to say, it is trash now. I bought a used 2 cycle Toro. When I used it at the previous owners house, I guess I did not put it through the proper testing, because I did not realize until I got home to use it that it was rear wheel drive. How in the world are you supposed to control this thing? The handle near the top can be let up on a bit to control the speed, but if you let up too much, it cuts off. I have a slope in my yard and I was exhausted after cutting the grass once and dread doing it again.
Any "training" tips out there for using a rear wheel drive mower?
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