Precisely, Tiny. (:
Wallaby, he isn't my horse but I'll definitely bring it up to the owner.
The bridle combination was chosen by the girl on the Appy, so I just assumed she knew what she was doing and went with it. Do you have a suggestion about what kind of bit we should use? (We have Western bits like this
one, shanks, and one French Link.) We also have a training bosel (no bit) and hackamore.
As for my stiffness, I was a little bit nervous. As my foot entered the stirrup my boss says to me, "If he starts bucking, just grab the saddle horn and hold on." I know this horse really well (he's a little overly-playful; he kept grabbing the bit, the reins, and my pant leg throughout the whole session), but he does get energetic sometimes and bucks up a little. My expression went from " 8D " to " B| " after my boss said that.
I tell you guys what, too. "Seeing myself" in the saddle and getting critique from senior riders (helmet, ACK) really helps. Most of the riders I work with are either cowboying it up (and exhausting our horses) or just too rude to give critique.
I used to have the "Fetus problem." I would hunch forward and my heels would go back. I realized this was from me over-analyzing my posture and went back to just having a little bit more fun.
Fortunately we're going to the local auction this weekend with high hopes for new tack (if it's in decent shape for us); I've also contacted a seller here about a saddle similar to the Appy's, if not the same one, to direct to my bosses.
As for this little guy, I think his biggest problem will be overcoming his playfulness. And for us both, our confidence in one another. (: