I'm so behind on blog posting, and at this point I don't even have work to hide behind as an excuse. I've been going to the barn, but I seem to be consistently forgetting my camera. Plus it's tricky to take pictures the times I'm actually up on Halo. My camera is rather bulky, and an accident would be all too likely.
The latest news is that Halo and I have now had our first couple of trots. We've only gone about halfway around the round pen at a time. Sometimes she tosses her head, which I am attributing either to annoyance with the sidepull, or that I may be slightly off balance. I'm still riding her bareback, so she's extra attuned to what my weight is doing on her back. I have to say, though, the first time I felt that trot I almost laughed. It's smooth as smooth can be.
She hasn't given me any real trouble since I've begun to get on her with more regularity. We're always keeping the sessions very short, and I stop and get off once she does everything I ask quietly. For example, we'll usually walk around once or twice each direction, trot halfway around each direction, and then practice whoa and back. If she's good, I get off. She does sometimes resist a little bit with backing up, but she's improved by leaps and bounds since I first started working with her on it.
Speaking of leaps and bounds, I did something very stupid this past weekend. Fortunately nobody got hurt. Because Halo has been so good, I thought it might be okay to let Casi get up on her and just walk around with me leading her. Halo apparently decided otherwise. She's never given me one bit of trouble with mounting, but the minute Casi got her leg over her back, she backed up and hopped a couple of times, tossing poor Casi into the dirt! I felt terrible, as it was completely my fault for thinking it would be okay. I am sure that something caused her reaction, whether it was the feel of an unfamiliar butt on her back, or perhaps the mounting block, which I was reaching down to move when she decided to jump backwards.
Casi and I were both a bit shaken, but once I established that Casi was completely unhurt, I got back up on Halo. Let me tell you - I was a little nervous about it! However, Halo was perfectly obliging and quiet as always with me. I hope I am not developing a one-person horse. I think once she's greenbroke to walk-trot-lope, I'm going to have to see about having some other experienced riders take her for a spin to make sure she doesn't get too locked into only having me ride her.
I've considered sending her off for a month or two of training, but I'm honestly afraid to do it. Besides the cost, there are so many horror stories about things trainers do. And there's no way to know it all since you can't be there every minute. I definitely would like to work with a trainer as she gets further along, but I don't think I'm comfortable sending her off to school by herself.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I know I keep promising updates and failing to deliver. My latest excuse is that my work schedule has changed. I'm now working 10-7, which is better in some ways and worse in others. I'm still adjusting, and trying to figure out what I can fit in during the morning hours before I go to work.
I have a couple more photos (albeit crappy cell phone ones) from last week's morning session with Halo. The first picture cracks me up - she's giving me a look that says, "what the heck are you doing here so early, Mom?"
I expected her to be spunky first thing in the morning, but she was actually pretty laid back. Her longe session was brief because she was so relaxed and responsive. I got on her for a few minutes and we worked on walking. She's gotten a little balky now that she knows what I want her to do, so we've been working on maintaining constant forward motion. I'm not fussing with her too much about direction yet, though I ask her to stay in some semblance of a circle around the pen.
I know her mane looks horrid right now. It is in the middle of growing out from the last awful haircut. We were planning on our first show August 8th, but since vet bills waylaid that plan, she gets to stay her scruffy self for now.