So it's been an exciting week in my land of horses... on Saturday, Alex and I had our very FIRST RIDE! We started out with lunging which went very well, with minimal "extra-curricular activities." So after putting on my helmet and vest we headed over to the mounting block for my first mount. Alex was a star and stood perfectly still. Then, my friend Stephanie, my helper for the day led us around the arena in both directions. Alex, like most every Thoroughbred, has ADD so we spent a lot of time stopping to look at everything or "smell the flowers" as I like to say. Eventually, I felt confident enough to have the lunge line removed and just have Stephanie walk next to us. After a few trips around the arena, I had Stephanie move to the center and we were truly on our own for the first time! Alex was a star and we even had a few trot steps ( I couldn't help myself). Overall, our first ride could not have been better!
Sunday Alex and I were at it again. Same routine, except this time, no helper. Lunging was great, possibly the best ever in full tack. In the saddle things went well, so well that I decided to get brave and trot both directions, which went well, although I could feel that Alex was quite tense and hollow. Finally coming through the corner at the right, Alex decided he needed to liven things up, so he picked up the pace, hopped around a bit and tried to rip the reins out of my hand. "Ok," I thought to myself, "this is how you want to play." So I went back to walk and spent some time trying to get him to bend. This irritated him a little bit, particularly to the right where he decided he'd had enough of me and reared. It was a very slow rear, but very short. The whole thing was over in a second, but happened in slow motion to me. I thought myself "shit... am I going to fall off?" Instinct took over as I sat very still, leaned toward his neck and made sure not to pull on the reins. Back on the ground, I gave a little cluck and he walked forward again. Crisis managed. After a little more walking I decided to call it a day.
In post mortem with my mom, she agreed that I had been his mouth (which is at the moment non-existent) too much and I need to focus on forward for a few weeks before I focus on anything else. So our next ride will be forward, forward, forward... and hopefully, no "extra-curricular activities."
In other news, Gryff will be starting back to full flat-work on Wednesday, yay! His wounds are still healing and will likely need a few more weeks, so that means little to no jumping, but at least we can start working back towards being ready for Jump Start Horse Trials and another outing at Novice. So happy the Gryffster is healing... I hate seeing him hurt.