Sunday, March 18, 2012

To Ride or Not To Ride?

Today I had big aspirations. I was planning to ride Snap for the very first time! We've been having really good round pen lessons. I haven't been the most consistent about timing, but Snap is a smart horse and retains his lessons very well. I have been apprehensive about getting on him for the first time. I don't want to get hurt. I don't want to scare him. I want it to be a natural extension of training and be a logical next step.

I think we're there. I think it's time. I ask Daniel to come observe and participate. So that somebody is there to scrape me off the ground if things go wrong. So that somebody is there to capture the first time anybody's on Snap's back.

After asking Snap to go both directions in the round pen (and he pitches some temper tantrums), I begin to pay attention to something I've seen before and ignored. The saddle does not fit. The saddle will not stay put. It creeps up until it's sitting on his withers. Gone are the thoughts of riding and our brains turn to saddle fit. We pull the saddle pad off and try again. No change. We adjust the rigging and the breast collar. Better and Snap is a little squirrelly, but no longer throwing fits.

Of course, this behavior on Snap's part could just be his confusion about being unsaddled and resaddled and asked to go again. This he'd better get used to fast. Distance horses spend lots of time being saddled and unsaddled. At least mine do since I tend to pull tack at vet checks.

However, the saddle still creeps forward and won't stay put. We'll have to try another saddle.

I decided enough for the day. I was getting tired and was ready to be done.

So, Snap still has not been ridden. But there will be time for that another day.