It started out as brushing Chavez, which led to saddling him which led to sitting on his back. Very, very briefly. He is so much feistier than Shelby, that I just knew she could do that too.
I brought out the same tack I had used with Chavez so it would smell like him and be familiar. She took to all of it very well. She got somewhat antsy as I was putting my hair back to tuck under my helmet, but I was awfully slow.
Out to the round pen. She wasn’t excited about standing still at the mounting block, so we worked on that awhile. Then I just lay across her back briefly, put my foot in the stirrup, etc. until I felt that she was comfortable with all that. So, I swung my leg over. She looked a bit nervous and swayed to the side, but didn’t take any steps or do anything naughty, so I got off quickly. I gave her lots of pets and told her how great she was.
I led her around and let her just relax and think about it. Then we went back to the mounting block to do it again. This time, when I was mounted, I moved around in the saddle to get her used to movement on top of her and to see if she would take a step if she got a little off balance. Well, she did take a step, several actually. All were backward and sideways. I’m not sure she ever did take an actual step forward. I stopped her and got off. That was enough.
We ended on a good note and I hand-grazed her in the lawn for about half an hour afterward. I want this small bit of work to be a good experience every time. Of course, then I had to ruin it by putting more Neo-poly-dex in her eye. She doesn’t like that a bit. I think I actually poked her in the eye with the tube. That can’t be helping anything.
She and Chavez are sharing a bale of hay for being so good today. Well, Shelby was quite a bit better than Chavez, but I pushed him pretty hard today. He’s been in training with the trainer for MONTHS. It’s time.
These pictures are of Chavez, not Shelby. I forgot to take any pictures of her. I didn’t want her standing around too long as I had worked her quite awhile. Just so we’re clear; I don’t think I’m a trainer. I enjoy doing things with my horses that I don’t think will ruin them for the real trainer. I have no visions of being the next Stacey Westfall.
7 years ago