Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our First Ride!

After the outstanding weekend that Starbuck has given me with amazing concentration, focus and progress on Friday, Saturday and today, I felt pretty confident about at least getting into the saddle for the first time.  So after a fairly strenuous workout of leading, longeing, yielding hindquarters and forequarters and sending work, I took her into the round pen and just let her rest while I did some preparation work; standing on a mounting block and rubbing her, tapping the saddle, putting a little weight in the stirrup, rubbing her belly with the tip of my toe and finally standing up and half mounting which is what you see here..
Afterward my friend Salvador helped me get Starbuck used to my weight (sorry girl, but this is Thanksgiving weekend after all) in movement by leading her around the roundpen with me just kind of half mounted like this and resting my belly over the saddle and she did great, no bucks or bunny hops or even any insecurity, she just took it completely in stride.  So I asked Marina, the owner of the stable, to help us out with our first ride and this is the result!  She's a little wobbly and you can tell we still need to work on finding our balance (I'm leaning forward to try to take some of the weight off her back), but I'm soooooo proud of her (and of me!) for being able to be completely relaxed and confident in movement with me sitting on top of her.
The other big change this weekend was that we moved Starbuck to new digs with a nice shed to keep her warm and dry this winter, so after our ride I made sure she had an extra big serving of bran mash, three freshly scrubbed out buckets of cool water and a bed of hay about 3 feet deep inside her little shed; she deserves some luxury after being such a good girl today!  Here's a fuzzy photo of her enjoying her new home:

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