Riding a Nervous Couch

That’s the way I described it to L, anyway. This happened today:

How did it happen? Well, I repeated last weekend’s exercises, and he was totally okay with all of it. So, when I was up there, I let him have his head…and he didn’t explode. He stood there and allowed me to fuss about on his back, including swinging my legs on both sides. So, when he stepped off a bit, and didn’t immediately start pogo-sticking, I decided to go with it. We had a nice little ride, though he is much more comfortable when we aren’t actually moving. Once forward motion is added, he can keep himself composed for a few strides…but then it takes a couple of tight circles to help him back down to Earth. He gets tense, throws his head up, and powers forward. That will just take time and repetition to help him through. We’ll be working on softness and flexibility through the bit starting tomorrow. He’s great with it on the ground, but because he’s so unsure under saddle, he’s bracy and tends to try and blow through my hands. I have no interest in moving to anything other than a Myler curb bit some day in the future, so softness is a must.

Even when he did get quick and pacy, he was not uncomfortable to ride, which is encouraging. Being up on top of him is so strange — his neck is WIDE. The only other horse that I’ve ridden that’s had a neck this chunky from the top is my friend K’s stallion! Hence my comment to L — he’s a damn couch!

It was maybe a 20 minute ride, including me getting on and off a few times to reiterate the fact that mounting does not mean kaboom! time. I highly doubt I’ve seen the last of his fireworks, but it was VERY encouraging to have him move off without any today.

I’m not 100% ready to say we’ve moved on to working on stuff under saddle just yet, but we are certainly getting to that point. It also doesn’t mean we’re done on the ground.

In other news, a very kind friend has let me borrow her lens for a little while so I can use my real camera again. I did just that today 🙂

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