Today is the day Gold will remember as the first time a crazy human sat on her back! Mark your calendar!
I rode Gold for the first time today and she did very well. My goal is to preserve her natural intelligence and sensitivity, so I didn’t push it. She listened to aids and backed up nicely, but got a bit stuck when I asked her to go forward. Again, I didn’t put more pressure on her. Instead, I simply set up the situation and waited and immediately took pressure off when she took even one step forward.
After a few minutes, she walked a few feet with me (very wobbly, because she isn’t used to having weight on her back) and I immediately jumped off and took off the saddle right there on the spot. This is the ultimate release of pressure for her and the session ended with me leading her to the best (greenest, tallest) grass in the pasture to graze for a few minutes.
I’d say it was a good start and I set it up so that it could only get better tomorrow.
After putting Gold back (and giving her an extra carrot… of course!) Lace, the appaloosa, and I had a really great ride. Today was the first day where I had to put in less effort and got more from her, instead. She did a great job of reading and interpreting my energy and, by the end of our ride, trotted when I merely thought it and raised my energy the tiniest bit. Pretty good for a lazy horse! She also did a wonderful job of going straight without me having to constantly pick up a rein to put her back on track.
Pearl surprised me! She did a bit better with the plastic bag, but actually did quite a few circles of crow hops and mini bucks after I saddled her with the back cinch. There’s your extroverted horse for ya! Full of surprises and plentiful energy. Although she is more reactive and energetic, she learns best when under pressure and a bit overwhelmed. So I made it a longer session today, focusing on desensitizing her to the plastic bag. By the end of the session she was yawning, shaking her head, blinking hard and blowing/snorting – all signs of adrenaline release and relaxation. She learned a lot!