A very productive evening!

We got off our butts and got both the greenies worked tonight. I say “we” because the SSG’s mom, Josie, assisted as our ground person.

We’ve been meaning to put the VLC and the SSG out together for a while now to see if they might make good turnout buddies. Early on, we established we couldn’t put the VLC out with the rest of the stallions/geldings here as the FPS (Feisty Paint Stallion – you’ll hear more about him in the future) wanted to kick his ass and, of course, despite my years of saying that horses have to be horses, I freaked and went “OMG that is the most expensive horse I have ever owned and he can’t get broken!” So the VLC has been on solitary turnout for the past few months – until tonight. We tried them together and it was pretty much perfect! They had a great time blasting around the indoor at warp speed. If the VLC got a bit too fresh with the SSG, the SSG would warn him but no blood was shed nor contact made. It was great. And of course it took the edge off both of them so that they were ready to work!

I‘ve been meaning to ride the VLC with another horse in the ring, so Josie did groundwork with the SSG while I rode. Wow, what a difference a 10 minute gallop with a buddy right before riding makes! Instead of bopping along at the fastest possible trot, the VLC was more than happy to slow down and give me the soft yet forward trot I’ve been looking for. Since he was going so well, and doing great about ignoring the other horse in the ring, I decided it was time for another “first” – so we did one lap of posting trot without stirrups for the first time! He sped up a bit at first at the stirrups whacking him but quickly adjusted. Finally, for our cool-down, I had Josie snap my reins to the bit for the very first time and we walked some circles. I told him I wouldn’t touch his face if he listened to my legs for direction and he seemed to figure that out amazingly well. No complaints at all – a great ride. I think this was ride #19? I’m starting to lose track now. It’s so much easier once you get past that first half-dozen rides!

Of course, this was only ride #2 for the SSG. I tied up the VLC and we switched off the tack and began working with the SSG. Laid over his back, did some bending and flexing of his neck on the ground. He was way more alert today than the first ride, and since it was raining, we were going to do this in the indoor instead of the round pen. I could tell he was more tense but I just kept scratching him and found the itchy spot on his neck that made him really happy. Finally I got on and we started to walk around. As I mentioned before, he’s very bonded to Josie and basically wants to crawl in her lap for reassurance so it’s a trick to keep him walking but not actually on top of her. We walked around with the lead rope, and then without, and for our final act, I made him turn a circle away from his mom. He survived, I got off and everybody got lots of praise – and cookies. Well, the horses did. I never seem to get cookies…

I am trying to figure out why/how it is that I am suddenly back to breaking out babies without any apparent panic. I mean, I am careful with the SSG. I don’t get on until I feel like the brain has engaged and we’ve done enough ground work. But I am not shaky, scared, panicky, or any of the things I was just two months ago. Have I psyched myself out of my fear by talking about it here, or have I just been so lucky with these quiet babies that even I had to get over it? Will I go right back to being chickenshit the first time I go off, or am I really back to how I used to ride or at least kind of closer to it? I guess time will tell! Right now I’m just kind of grateful that I’m over it – whether or not that lasts.

Published in: on June 6, 2008 at 4:57 am  Leave a Comment  

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