Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Little Elm, Texas
My 17-year-old son rode Mission bareback today. The kid has ridden only a handful of times. Being out there and trying to tell him what to do and what not to do felt like the blind leading the blind. Luckily, Mission was very calm and forgiving to both of us. Before Devan got on, I worked Mission at a trot/gait around the round pen for about ten minutes, changing directions. He definitely listens well to me when I ask him to move (cluck and wave of the lead rope). Getting him to change directions was easier than the last time. He tried to eat the grass in the round pen a few times, but I clucked to him and he stopped.
Despite Devan climbing up onto him two different times, I still couldn't make myself get up there. Maybe the fall I took in the arena had more of an effect than I first thought. I'm desperately lacking basic self confidence anyway, so it's not much of a stretch to lose it in regards to riding.
I had a great lesson with an excellent trainer two weeks ago. She's experienced with gaited horses and was very patient with me. I did get into the saddle for that, but we only moved around the round pen at a walk. A day later, I got a call from the barn owner saying that outside trainers are not allowed on their property. It was news to me. I thought maybe it was a part of the boarding contract that I didn't read or something, but when I went back to check, there was nothing in the contract about that at all.
So now I'm looking into getting lessons locally. One thing I can say is that I am so much more comfortable with Mission than when he first got here. I am starting to figure out his little quirks and trying to be the leader on the ground. If I could only do that in the saddle....