DISCLAIMER: Explicit song lyrics start around 11:30 so if you're easily offended, best to mute it right then and put on some nice Mozart instead.
Calling The Plays: This is a gelding I picked up from a friend of mine. He had bucked off her daughter who was one of these plucky barrel racing teenagers and they didn't really know what to do with him so they gave him to me. He also bucked off a pretty talented dressage rider from France. I call him Cash. He's actually a pretty nice horse and a natural athlete. I'm convinced that he's a prince in rags, breeding-wise, but who's to say? Always the first one wanting to come up and get petted, but on the spoiled side. I don't hold it against him, I just go to work and get him doing something positive. Then maybe he can be something more in life than a pasture ornament. It's the USEFUL horse that stands the best chance in this world of living to old age.
When he bucked me off, it was because I wasn't busy enough. Gave him too much time to think about getting in trouble. If I fall I use that rush of adrenaline to get back on before I have a chance to feel the pain. Bend him. Pet him. Breathe. Stay busy. Keep changing directions, keep his mind occupied. Disengage those hindquarters to build control. Control means safety and leads to increased confidence. But don't forget that moving forward is the purpose of the whole endeavor! The more sure he gets of my intentions the more I'll risk. When he needs to go we'll go, and when he's ready to settle I allow him to stop. Pet him. I know I already said that. It bears repeating at least 100x more. Pet him. It works. He's 0.01% better than he was before.
Some groundwork I did on day 2 prior to getting on. He starts out afraid/reactive of the flag and so I work on getting him used to it while at the same time using it to teach him to move around me in a consistent position, isolate his hindquarters and forequarters, and operate on the halter rope in a way similar to how I'm going to operate him from the saddle. As he settles down about the flag I lengthen the lead rope which gives him room to make smooth, balanced departures, turns and transitions on signals given without the slack taken out of the lead rope (reins). Also, I can now wave this plastic bag-on-a-stick around him and he can tolerate it. BONUS!
Day 2 Ride:
A little better today than yesterday. That last back-up weighed a few ounces.
Finally, here's just the part where I get bucked off:
I suffer no delusions. I know what you people really want to see. =P
I'll answer any questions anyone has about this horse or about things in general, or if you want to give me grief about this or that that's fine too!