This Will be my journal on how my progress with Sonny is going! I've only been going out to the barn once a week, but am going to be trying to get out there more! Sonny is the 11 year old tantrum-prone gelding I'm thinking of buying! I'll tell about my last two visits in the post, and then post as I go!!! Wish me luck
This was the first time I was able to ride Sonny! I've been working with him for a few weeks and was very excited and nervous due to his pushy nature. I spent nearly a half hour brushing him and working with him on picking up his feet so we could clean them, hoping we could relax a bit. We tacked up and went out the the arena to lunge, and low and behold Sony bucked all over the place. He refused to go out and reared in front of my face. I couldn't even send him away with the whip (I guess the desensitization I've been trying to do backfired?). I had lunged him the previous week with the saddle on just take make sure he'd behave himself, and lunged him numerous times with it off. He's never acted out like this. Still, I shrugged it off as some access energy and the rain beating on the roof. Once he'd trotted/loped a couple full circles each way, and a good check of the girth, saddle, and everything to make sure it wasn't bugging him, I hopped up (with help, he won't stand) for the first time! Thank goodness our trainer was there! We didn't get more than two steps before he was trying to pull me the opposite direction. I've been riding for years, and normally a pushy horse wouldn't bug me, but I must admit his behavior on the line had gotten to me. I let him stand there for a moment while I gathered myself, then pressed him forward into a walk. Once he realized he was going where I wanted to go, and that I would let him relax once he listened we were great! We walked around the area for almost half an hour. Figure eights, serpentines, backing, standing, small circles, big circles, wide turns, turning against the wall, stirrups, no stirrups, leg cues, no leg cues.... and so on, until we had a bit of a feel for each other. Not too bad for not being ridden since October!
Ah, then came the cue to trot. Looking at him you might think he didn't know what the hell I wanted. So we pressed again, and again. Then a little kick, then a harder kick, and off he went! ..... For about three strides. Lovely. So I backed him up, and we tried again. This continued until he was annoyed and decided to try and buck me over his head. Now I was fairly relaxed and not expecting it like I should have been, not to mention I've never had to sit more than an excited little butt-bounce. So up over the horn I went, and landed on his neck, still sitting upright. So I slipped my legs over his neck (he was fine with it, go figure. Maybe I could make a trick horse out of him?) and off I slid. We got right back on. This time, I squeezed and held it until I could feel his stride coming-to. And on a whim I tried something I have done in years, let alone in a Western saddle. Posting. And fudge did I hurt! But, of course, it worked. So we went a circuit in both directions, walked and stopped for the day. Not too bad!
Didn't ride today Groomed Sonny, worked on his feet, tacked up. When we got out to lunge he had a pretty bad limp. We think he slipped in the mud. Thanks, rainy Iowa weather. So we went back, un-tacked, brushed some more, braided his mane, and put him in his box for some rest. I love him