Monday, May 9, 2011

Saddle Problems?

What saddle problems?

Yup. It's all fixed up. With a Navajo rug and a leather latigo that won't stretch, my saddle stays where it's put now. There's still plenty of spine clearance (I can bout stick my hand all the way back to the back of the saddle... almost, not quite) and it's fabulous.

Therefore, not only was today the first ride since my fall, it was also the first time I've mounted up from the ground. I was so flipping excited.

Though, I did start the days lesson with my standing on the chair, feeding him apple slices and scratching his back and going "good boy!" while he stood there, munching apple. I figured if he didn't always expect me to get on his back, he'd be more willing to stand still by the chair. Anyways, after that I set about grooming him, and learned that hey, my old hair brush brushes out his knots better than a comb does. So his mane is all floaty and pretty.

Proceeded to groom him and saddle him, and then stuck my foot in the stirrup, and up I went, and he stood like a rock the whole time! :D

Then we just walked around the yard for a while, after a good lunge before my having gotten up, and worked on simple things, like stopping, going, and turning left and right by leg pressure. I had him turning with leg alone, though on occasion he still needed a reminder with a bit of pressure on the rein.

Then we went around the corn field, in the normal direction. About a quarter of the way around, a trailer went by on the road, at the other end of the field, and a horse whinnied. I thought Siaga was going to dump me right there, but I pulled up the left rein and turned him around in circles and then we went onwards, no more problem after that. And then, about half way around, at the very back, there's a wide trail that leads across the creek to another field. No bridge. I walked him into the little grove and let him graze on the belly-high grasses. For this, my reasoning was that he needs to know that it's not a bad thing to be ridden away from the paddock or the barn. And then we left the grove and headed back... in the not normal direction. I didn't feel brave enough or trusting enough to try the irrigation ditch. Did just fine.

Parts of the field have old corn stalks piled up in little piles. I used them for an exercise. I relaxed the reins, and guided him through the little maze with my legs alone, and we got through without walking on any of the piles. And then back we came, walked around the wood trail, then back down to the back paddock and untacked. And yes, instead of loosing both feet from my stirrups and swinging one leg over to jump/slide off, I only loosed one and then stepped down, and the saddle still didn't slip. Lovely.

And now he's happily grazing in the back yard. :)

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