Today has been two weeks with Grace, and we had our first nearly stress free ride. Aside from our test ride pre-purchase. No thought of bucking, no attempts to take off. So happy.
It's been really hot & humid lately, so I've been trying to ride in the evening after the temp has dropped. Problem with that is three nights running, we've had storm threats every blasted time. I have made a point to just stroll along with her in the field and do some groundwork. I've been finding she knows quite a bit but, prefers to be asked when it makes sense to her. As in, side step so I can open the stall, back so I can get by, types of things. On the line, I think perhaps I confuse her.
Prior to riding I walked her about the paddock (where we ride for the time being). Discovered several areas with trolls. Our previous, I'm going to take off areas in saddle. I made a point of stopping in those areas to massage her neck a bit. Each time the trolls were less worrisome. Tacked up & of course neighbors nearby started fireworks ( still going as I write). Did a little more troll work.
Yup, I'm relaxed now.
Tonight was the first night she took her bit willingly. We'd already practiced standing at the mounting block and she did great. Once there again, she was hesitant and kept backing away, I just asked her to back some more. Third time was at the charm. We'd had a long chat while on walkabout regarding what we'd be doing. Just a casual stroll, just like on the ground with brake checks along the way.
I mounted and SHE JUST STOOD THERE! I rubbed on her neck, I asked her to go forward and SHE SIMPLY WALKED, as in no attempts to buck! We just started casualty walking about, we'd stop and I'd rub on her. Troll areas were no biggie either. A few times (fireworks) I'd ask for her to whoa and she'd ignore me. I'd make the wrong thing harder and she began stopping off my seat. Rode only 30 minutes, it was 30 minutes of awesome. She didn't even care that Margeuax & Maizee were following all over. Silly cats.
She got a huge hug, lots of kissing. I've never had a horse who enjoyed being loved on before ❤️