Thursday, June 12, 2008

New beginnings

Today Sophie had her first ride. I kept it short and sweet since it was her first time in the round pen or with a saddle on even.

I worked her on the longe for 10 minutes teaching her how to disengage her hindquarters and react to the word woah. I also worked with throwing ropes all over her in a very rhythmic motion since she was a little scared about waving hands and ropes.
I then did the same rhythmic motion on and off her back with the saddle pad until she stood relaxed and then put it and the saddle on with no trouble. I longed her for another minute and swung up. She jumped forward at the movement of my leg but only went a step or two.

Of course I was riding her in the Nurtural bitless bridle. She has been driven in this bridle and does awesome. Since she had never encountered round pen/longeing/a saddle before this 15 minutes I didn't want to push her so I got on, and just sat there. She stepped forward once but I stopped her and we just stood. Good standing, I think it's the most important but often overlooked thing a horse can ever learn is a good long and beaten (but not literally) WOAH! If you have reliable breaks you can work on the gas safely. If you have a good parking break it makes it easier to do thing without having to wrestle an anxious moving horse the whole time.

Ride#2 is tomorrow so long as it doesn't rain *knock on wood*

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