I know at least one of you is out there wondering why I'm trying to ride Gwen. Considering that last year I suffered a bad injury falling off her and that I already have a great horse to ride, what's my motivation? Well for one thing if something were to happen to me, as she is right now she'd be dog meat. If she's to stand a chance in that awful scenario then she has to be ride able. Fortunately she's finally registered (Three Shades of Gwen- thanks so much Wolfie for the Best Name Ever!), but it's been shown over and over that registration alone isn't enough to protect a horse.
Public service announcement: Register your foals before they're yearlings, folks. It saves a lot of hair pulling down the road.
But aside from that compelling reason, I'm trying again because I think she wants me to. Raise your hand if you just rolled your eyes because I'm anthropomorphizing my horse, but I really believe it. For the past couple months when I've taken Coriander out to ride she's looked at me with a rather pleading look on her face like, "why aren't you taking me?" I'd look her in the eye and tell her that I wanted to but that I was too scared to try. Did she understand my words? I doubt it, but she might have understood my intent.
I present this tidbit of information as my proof: In the almost 30 times in the past three weeks that I've mounted and dismounted her, not once has she stepped away from the mounting block when I started to swing a leg over. Someone might say, "well that's because you're holding her still." Nope, not at all. I keep a finger on the leadrope or the reins to make sure they don't slide down but I have never put any tension on her face to get her to stand still. She does that all on her own. Sure, the clicker training helps, but I can't use clicker training to make her do something she's afraid of. She's shown me that over and over. (If she or Coriander didn't stand still at the mounting block I wouldn't get on. At this point that would be very strange behavior for them and a sure sign that something was wrong.)
So what do you think? Should I expect men in white jackets to come looking for me or what?