Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A real ride

Honest to goodness, I had an actual ride on Gwen today.

First of all, I took her over to the mounting block and got on without putting a flake of hay down first. She stood like a stone until I was mounted and she was rewarded. Brilliant.

Then walked up the hill around the barn, and she halted when I asked her to before turning into the Christmas tree field. Excellent.

We turned into the field and hit a bit of a snag- I wanted to turn around and head back, she wanted to graze. Grazing wasn't on my agenda, so we had to do some hip yielding until she decided to just stay in the direction I pointed her. Points for me on sticking to my guns.

Then she walked down the hill and turned toward the barn when I asked her, and halted again when I asked. Awesome.

Oh, and guess what? She backs under saddle! I asked her on Sunday and she just glided backwards- there was no pushing through the reins or trying to slide left and right, she just stepped back. So cool. I asked her again today with the same result, flowing backwards. All of our ground work has really paid off.

We've now got go forward, turn, halt, and back. The building blocks for making a riding horse.

It was a simple, short ride by most standards, but considering how far we've come I had to crow about it!


  1. Congratulations! Sounds like you had a great ride, and ground work really DOES pay off!

  2. And well you should! (Crow, that is.) What a happy post!

  3. What a great ride. Sounds like you are making progress with Gwen.

  4. But HOW did you get her to back... what was your cue?

  5. Wowsa that sounds like a wonderful ride indeed!!
    Are you using tour Crossover ANSUR? Did the soft touch work?

    You've put the time in and the rewards are evident with her and how she has progressed. Awesome.

    I took one last ride on my KONKLUSION today. Tried to pad it differently...though she was free flowing and snorting , the fact is its texting on her withers and more padding make it tighter and also, I found, makes the daddle slip.
    So , after reading your comment, I'd love to send this saddle to you, if you'd like to try it. If you loved it just keep it, and make payments next year. I've got to save more $ for a new ANSUR anyway, with the prices having gone up since I bought mine.

    You think about that... :)

  6. Thanks everybody, I'm pretty stoked about it :)

    Margaret: I taught her to back while ground driving by putting some tension on the reins and saying "back." As soon as she shifted backwards I rewarded her. While I'm on her back I did the same thing- put some tension on the reins and said "back." I'm keeping it as simple as possible right now, tension on one rein means turn, tension on both reins means stop, tension on the reins when she's already stopped means back (plus the vocal cue). Otherwise there is no contact on the reins.

    I know some people talk about sliding their seat back or putting their leg just so, but she's not ready for that yet.

    KK- I think I would like to try it next spring when Gwen's a bit more solid. She likes to jump so I've already got getting her a jumping Ansur on the back of mind. I'll have to send you an email soon.

  7. Oops, just realized I messed my tenses all up writing that comment. Oh well.

  8. GREAT! You'll love is so compy!! The foward panel, deeper seat of the all purpose- is why I got it-for jumping! Let me know when...I will send it to you.

    STATELINE tack is haovng a nice blanket sale..I'm going to get another one since we have massive mudd at my barn, and my mare rolls in it all the time, I will go through my 2 blankets-before spring!


  9. She stood at the mounting block without hay?? She walked and then halted when you asked?? She backed up?? AWESOME!!!! I am so pleased for her and for you!! I got a big smile on my face as I read your post.

  10. Thanks KK, I'll be in touch.

    Wolfie- Isn't she awesome? I never thought I'd be able to sit on her much less actually ride :)

  11. Yeah! So happy for you and Gwen. Everything is coming together for both of you. Congratulations again.