Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Misty's First Ride of the Summer

I started Misty under saddle a couple years ago, but I’ve not felt very confident about it and knew we both needed some professional help.

Since Misty is my first horse following my 20+ year horse hiatus, and….
Since I’d never started a green horse before, and….
Since I didn’t have transportation to riding facilities until this year….
Our progress has been very slow.

That's ok; we aren't in a rush. However, this is the summer for action. No more excuses.

Misty had her first ride of the summer this morning. Not by me, but by a local professional. I’ll call him C.T. for Cowboy Trainer.

I hauled Misty to C.T.’s training facility where he first evaluated her in the round pen. I was happy to see her education from last April’s horsemanship clinic had stuck with her. She whinnied and sniffed the air and was curious about the strange surroundings, but wasn’t goofy or spookish.

In the round pen she initially displayed some defiance. Nothing extreme - just normal equine I-do-not-know-you-so-why-should-I-do-this sort of defiance when asked to work during her usual morning nap time. But in a matter of minutes, she was attentive, respectful, and completely hooked-on to C.T.

Once C.T. had established a relationship with her through ground work, he hopped on her bareback and rode her in the round pen with just a rope halter. Then he saddled her and rode her outside and down a long driveway to the outdoor riding arena, still using only a rope halter.

I was amazed.

She didn’t spook when someone noisily dragged a trash can across the dirt.
She didn’t spook when someone drove by in a loud tractor.

C.T. rode her in the arena at a walk, trot, and canter.

CANTER!

This was the first time Misty has ever cantered under saddle and she did very well. She was calm, relaxed, and obedient.

C.T. was calm, relaxed, and provided leadership from the saddle.


When asked to canter, she picked up the correct lead most of the time. C.T. had no trouble steering her in just the rope halter. She didn’t get squirrelly or try to gallop off when cantering and she came to a stop exceptionally well for a horse transitioning from a canter to a stop for the first time…in just a rope halter.

I was thrilled to see her behave so well and to know what kind of riding horse she will be for me if I too am calm, relaxed, and provide leadership from the saddle.

We have another session on Thursday and this time I will take my camera.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by...you have a great blog!

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  2. That is really great the Misty did so well on her first day. C.T. must be very kind. Good for Misty!

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  3. Sounds like a good out all around. I'm sure Misty will learn fast and be the best horse, she sounds like a real smart gal.

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  4. Cactus Jack, thanks!

    juliette, thanks, I'm proud of my mare.

    Grey Horse, she is a smart gal. Thanks.

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