Yesterday I sat on Frankie for the first time, he was a superstar – you’d never have known it was the first time he’d had someone sitting on him 🙂
Today I marked out a small square with electric fence posts with plastic plant pots on top and we walked around it touching the pots and then the last corner of the square was the mounting block so we did lining up and sometimes me getting on.
At one point I asked for a step of backup like we did yesterday, with me on board and asking with a rein cue – which he offered immediately I asked but he felt a bit wonky so I got off and saw he had his hind hoof up on the mounting block!!! He wasn’t worried in the slightest and had just stood there with his foot up on it, not moving at all. I thought this was amazing not only because he wasn’t in the least bothered, but also because he didn’t lose his balance with an unfamiliar weight on top of him!
So then we did more of this and then I thought it would be OK to ask for some walk on with me on board. The first couple of times I clicked as he responded to my voice cue (I wasn’t sure if he would from me in the saddle) so we just did one step forwards C/T. Then I decided to see if he would walk to the target which he did, at which point I’d decided to get off but he seemed happy enough to continue – not over-eager rushing – but just calm and fine about the whole thing. So we did the rest of the square and I got off at the mounting block.
He then didn’t really want to leave the arena, which he’s never been like before, but we’ve been doing shorter sessions than usual and I think he’s really enjoying this, I’m sure he must be able to sense my massive grin when I am sitting on him 😉
Then he led down the track really well, a little bit ahead of me, a little big energetic, but on a loose rein and no attempt to pull away.