Monday, March 9, 2015

No more kindergarten!!!!

River has graduated to grade school - she survived wearing a bareback pad in the round pen!  On Saturday evening (after Jessi and I returned from the Cowboy Dressage show at Ranch Murieta), I wanted to work with River a little since I knew I'd be really busy on Sunday with riding, giving lessons and putting on a Cowboy Dressage clinic.  My plan was to just get her out for a little, and practice swinging an old leather bareback pad  on and off of her back.  Well, as you can see below, she was too busy looking off into the distance to worry about the pad - even though it had billet straps that slapped her sides and legs when I tossed it over her back. 

So, we decided to go ahead and see what would happen if we actually cinched her into it!  Again, it was ALMOST a non-event.  I put it on her back, pulled the girth under her belly and lightly buckled it on.  I then led her around a little.

She seemed pretty non-plussed about the whole thing, so I tightened the cinch  enough so that it wouldn't slip under her back and I sent her out to the rail.............

Woo Hoo!!  We had a little buckaroo bonsai action which lasted maybe 2 times around the arena, and then she quickly settled down.

I had her switch directions, then she came in for a rewarding rub on the head.

We  haven't done any lunging with her, so this was another lesson for her today.  She took to the left quite easily.......

.......going to the right was harder, but she did get some good steps.

River tried really hard to understand and to do all her new lessons. She's a great student.

I always remember that taking a saddle (or bareback pad) off can sometimes be just as scary as putting it on - the girth and straps slide up over their backs after they have gotten used to it settling down on their backs.  I should have known, River didn't really care.

Another successful day in the continuing education of River.

(Another reminder that you can click on the images to bring them up to their full size)

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