We had some excitement last week. As you can tell by the title, it was some good excitement. 🙂
Some quick background, because this is important to show why last weeks excitement is so, so amazing…bear with me, ‘kay? 🙂
We have 4 horses. Ruby, Cookie, Astrid and Sable. Ruby is Hubby’s, Cookie is mine, Astrid is our free floater who loves everyone, and Sable is Kid’s. When we went out to choose our horses, we chose to support our local horse rescue. Why? Well, simply because they buy horses from the auctions that are only being bid on by the meat buyer. While I know there are cultures that see horses as edible livestock, on this farm, they are not. Nor will they every be.
So, our original 3 came through the Rescue, and we had almost nothing for background on them. What we knew was the little bit of info that came with them from the auction house, and the assessments the ladies made after getting them into the Rescue. So, not much.
What we knew about Sable was she has some training, she’s been ridden, but she has confidence issues. She needs a rider to support and comfort her through her fears…if not, she bucks. Jodi, our friend who has been coming out to help with Sable’s training, has experienced her buck first hand. I’ve only seen her playing double barrel kicks…so I can only imagine (and not very well, at that!) what riding through those bucks would be like.
And so, even after spending the winter and summer working with Sable, and knowing her issues, and knowing how much she tries to please, and knowing what a sweet love pony she is…I was still very hesitant to allow The Kid up on her back. I mean, Jodi is a very experienced horse woman. She knows what she’s doing, she isn’t the “Yeehaw!! Ride ’em Cowboy!!” type, she’s calm, patient, and listens to what the horse she’s training needs…and Sable threw her. So, yeah, y’all can understand my reservations when it came to my Kid up on that giant Blonde Girl!
Hubby was sure, though, that all would be well. He played the “Up/Down” game with Sable, while I watched her responses. Once we figured she was relaxed enough, and understanding what we were asking of her, we asked Kid if she wanted to get up…
We kept the lead on Sable, just in case. She tends to look to someone on the ground for reassurance, so as long as she was on the lead, she was a-ok with Kid on her back. And, really, after Hubby was up there, Kid was nothing to carry. 😉
We didn’t push it. Hubby, using the lead, asked her to take a step forward, and she did. Kid made no move to squeeze with her legs, just relaxed up there, and it translated to Sable. So, next time we do this, we’ll go from the beginning again…Up/Down game, until Sable’s comfortable, get Kid up there, leave the lead rope on, and let Kid ask, very gently, for Sable to walk on.
We’ll do this slowly and carefully. For every body’s safety. 🙂