I put the saddle back on Gwen Saturday. She was fine about the pad and fine about the saddle
(interesting side note: I had put the saddle down with the pad upside down over it so the white, fluffy side was visible. Guess who spooked at it? White things are probably always going to be a problem for her. No white horse trailer for me.)
but when I reached under her for the girth and pulled it up she started walking away from me. It would seem that the girth is the main issue- whether she got bruised from jumping around or if it was the feeling of the girth that inspired the bucking in the first place, I don't know. She did eventually stop and let me tighten it up, though I left it a little loose, and then I backed off and let her stand around wearing it for a while. She went straight into chill mode so after a few minutes I grabbed my target and went to see if she'd follow the target over the stream.
Not a chance. She was quite cute about it actually. She followed me until she saw where I was headed and then just stopped and said, "it's okay, you go on ahead, I'll wait over here," and stood off to the side looking all dejected. Coriander, in the meantime, thought it was great fun. Unfortunately he wasn't the one that needed it.
I went back to the barn and swapped the target for some baling twine and used that to lead her over the stream- I wanted to give her a chance to buck and get a little silly but I didn't want her to step on a lead rope and jerk on her face while she did it. I needn't have bothered, she was perfect. We walked down to the water very slowly, stopping after each step, until we finally took one step over the water. We did this a few times in each direction, speeding up until I we built up enough steam for her to take a little hop over the water.
No bucking. Hmmm...
I guess it's time to go back to getting her to target over the stream and see if we can build up some more speed. I feel like I'm in a really weird place right now- I WANT my horse to buck so I can tell her that's what I DON'T want. Strange.
We're also learning how to lunge in preparation for ground driving. Lungeing makes me physically ill so I've been avoiding it up to this point but it's time to suck it up and do it anyway. I'm going to try it Hempfling style, walking a smaller circle inside the horse's circle, and see if that helps a bit with the nausea and dizziness I feel. Either that or get some Dramamine.
In case you aren't familiar with Klaus Hempling here's a short video that shows a bit of his philosophy on lungeing. Take note of his posture- that's something I've been trying to improve on myself.
I also have to learn how to ground drive. Kate G. is coming by this weekend to help us get started, meanwhile I've started doing some research. There's a good intro here that I like and Kate from A Year With Horses has a nice post about it here.
Anyone have any pointers they want to share? I'm open to everything right now.