On Thursday I sucked up my courage on got on Gwen again. I slid on, C/T, slid back off onto the mounting block, C/T, three times. She was wonderful and fabulous and only wanted to know which side her treat was going to come from.She didn't even wait until I was settled before her questing little muzzle started sniffing around for food. Just the cutest.
I did wuss out and use the bareback pad instead of the saddle.
I know what you're thinking, "in what world is choosing a bareback pad instead of a saddle wussing out when getting on a nervous mare who's greener than grass?"
Here's the thing, my Ansur- which I love- is kinda tall. I can't just slide into it gracefully, I have to wiggle into it. I can just slide on top of the barepack pad with a minimum of fuss, so until she's rock solid with mounting and dismounting again I want it to be as smooth as possible. I'll probably introduce the saddle when I she's ready to start moving forward and do hip yields again.
I put the old Crosby back on her Saturday and ponied her off Coriander, we did a bit more trotting and cantering this time. Uphill, downhill, and round the hill. I'm trying to get her used to the feel of a saddle over varied terrain and movements. No more bucking when the saddle surprises her!
We trotted downhill and I got a chance to be impressed with Coriander, he's really learned how to regulate himself going downhill which was made clear by Gwen's cluelessness. We started trotting downhill and she just couldn't stop herself from picking up speed until she was passing us. That made Coriander cranky and he shot a hind hoof at her, over which we had to have a conversation. No starting fights when the human's on your back!
After the ride I put the pad on her again and got on a couple more times. She was calm as a cucumber and I was feeling pretty confident. Unfortunately Saturday night the local town shot off some fireworks less than two miles from their pasture, and she's been a mess ever since. Hopefully she'll be back to normal tonight.
If not I'll be standing there shaking my fist at the sky shouting, "why fireworks, why?"
Speaking of bucking, I've been watching a lot of capriole lately, remembering just how heartily she can buck, and thinking that the capriole looks a bit like bucking. I bet she could capriole with the best of them. Future plans...