So after finding the right saddle we were up to 15 minutes on the line. 4 one minute sets of trotting, 30 seconds of canter departs and the rest walking. The mare looked a little silly with her dressage bridle and western saddle, but it was working. She still wouldn’t stop all of the time, but she was at least trying to be good. In fact, that was one of the best things I noticed about her…she really wanted to make me happy. Those times when she would give a itty buck or try and pull away…well right afterwards you could see in her eye that she was very upset with herself.
We all know that every horse is different, but her lack of self confidence reminded me of that of the SchoolMaster. How she handled it though was much different, she internalized instead of exploding. It was a reminder to me that I would never be allowed to raise my voice to her because she would take it personally. I had a busy work week and by the time Friday rolled around I wanted to ride. It had been 2 weeks since I got on the Pinto and I needed my saddle time.
A smarter person would make sure that the horse listened to them on the lunge or at least was consistently working the horse before they got on. I knew that she was quiet though and it was not like she had never been ridden before or anything like that. She just had 8 months off, that was all. I got on Gen last summer a few times when he had not been ridden in years so I wasn’t worried about this mare.
When I brought her to the mounting block I could see the gears turning in her head. She knew that that meant and she just wasn’t sure how she felt about that. Looking back what I should have done was just given her a minute to think it all over. Instead I climbed on. She was worried so she started to trot…and wouldn’t stop.
My first thought was “Oh Shit…I have no breaks” but my second thought was…”aww…she is not even taking off with me…just trotting, what a good girl”. As I went around the ring mostly out of control I had to rack my brain to think of a way to stop her. Gentle rein pressure was not enough. I am sure if I hauled at her mouth she would have walked, but I didn’t want to do that. Since I knew how sensitive she was about misbehaving I decided try something that would get the result I wanted without having her feel like she was being bad.
To Be Continued…