So a week (or two) ago we had a good session with the riding. My primary goal on these first few weeks has been to present a lack of trauma. I want Jellybean to be ok with me sitting on her back during her normal work session. So first, I tack Jellybean up. Then I work her in both directions of the arena with minimal whip and lots of voice cues. I want her to whoa/walk/trot/canter on command. She knows what she should do, but sometimes she is just lazy. That’s when we get a little bit crazy with the directional changes to get her attention.
Once I think she is more focused (usually about 5-10 minutes) I use Robert’s assistance to allow me to step over from the fence onto her back. She never really cares about me sitting on her, she just wants to socialize with the other horses. Once I have my feet in the stirrups, Robert goes to the center of the round pen and repeats the same walk/turn exercise we have already completed. I complement the turns with the reins and my legs.
So we have been working on turning and moving forward independently of Robert and the whip in the center. We have progressed far enough that he doesn’t need the whip, but his body language is still very important. Unfortunately she gets very bored with this exercise very quickly… Either way, we are making progress in the right direction. At some point (aka when I am brave enough) we will ask for trotting.
Here’s the video I promised from last time!