Just another update. I've had the crud, it sucks. But Sunday was a lovely, if windy and brisk day. My friend from Texas called, said, hey. My boy needs a training day, just to get him off the place, low pressure, but barrels. She was bringing her daughter and her daughter's ancient mare as well. Our local arena has weekend jackpots, so she was on her way to me. I live literally 2 miles from the arena. We can see it from our house.
I got around, rustled up J, we loaded Oops and I chose Sarge this time... and we met them at the arena.
Porta Potties were the lesson of the day for my two. Sarge and Oops each thought they were going to be eaten by the potty. Pictures posted with permission.
It was a good day though - Big Sarge is insecure, easily and immediately buddy sours if I don't watch it. This was only the third time I'd ridden him since we got him almost two years ago. Usually one of the kids rides him. All in all, I enjoyed his company. He's a big goon, a lovely boy when it comes to socializing with humans, but so incredibly insecure. It's weird.
Anyway, I think his desire to buck at times really was right down to the saddle and pad. I have an SRS barrel saddle that was shockingly huge on Trigger, so I wasn't going to keep it - but I threw it on Sarge and it's a perfect fit. I'm using a Classic Equine ESP pad on him now. He never seemed bothered by it, unlike other saddles in the past. However - He disliked, greatly, that I put a curb chain on his bit. Took him a little getting used to it - I had it the right tightness, but he kept shaking his head like, Really!? AUGH! I hate these things! He finally got over himself. We got along just fine, except for a few instances of him not wanting to listen. I wore my spurs (stationary ball/bumper type spurs) though and just a touch of those for communication and it got his attention and he behaved just fine. He doesn't move just off the slightest change in my seat or leg, he's not a big fan of neck reining - so very different from Mr. Trigger, and I had to remind myself of that. He moves nicely off that tiny bit of spur pressing into him though, so here we go - I've got to learn what he knows and what he doesn't so we can communicate properly. I'm going to make Sarge my next project now that Trigger is honestly about as 'good as he's gonna get'. His teeth are probably needing floated, so I'll get him out to Dr. Hannah (The vet who fixed Supes' botched floating job) next week.
Oops did great. She still doesn't offer to buck or act a fool, just gets confused by new things, but she's quickly becoming a good ride. J just loves her.
Since the porta potty was a source of concern and sometimes distress - we parked right by it and just worked them through the OMG ITS GANNAE EAT ME reaction. By the end of the afternoon, they were far more calm about it. It didn't bother them that people went in (Got eaten), it bothered them when people CAME OUT... mostly because there was a lot of effort to get the catch undone, so the whole thing would heave and rock a little, the door would flap, the wind would catch it and it would bang open and then LIKE MAGIC A WILD HUMAN APPEARED!
So yep. Our afternoon was spent hanging out by the toilet.
Sally is not pictured, nor the topic of this, but she is above my pay grade. Daughter has sent her off for 30 days with some folks that know what they're doing. She left Sunday, same day as these pictures. I have hope for her, now that she's 'over' Outback. They're still very tight/close, but she's not running interference for her anymore, she's not acting a fool around her when we walk out there. She loaded with no fuss, no stress, unlike the time she knocked me out of the trailer at the vet clinic this summer.
"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."