On Tuesday I got on Hola for about five minutes. Such a short ride and yet we made a significant step forward... "forward" being the operative word. I introduced Hola to the crop before getting on to make sure she wasn't started by it's appearance. Ha! To Hola, that stick meant absolutely nothing except for maybe the mild amusement of having something new to smell. I wiggled it around some and then scratched her body with it but she really could care less. I say this because I really don't think that the crop was what made a difference when I got on as she didn't know what it could do and she didn't care that I had it in my hand (had no association with it). So I got on her and asked her to walk on. And she WALKED ON. Hola has been walking but she has lacked forward motion because she constantly feels like she is still trying to figure out how to balance my weight, she just doesn't stride out. But from the minute she stepped away from the step stool she really just moved out like I wasn't even up on her back. I did disengaged her hip to stop first right then left and guided her left and right a time or two and then had her walk out for maybe a minute more. I did tap the saddle gently with the crop a few times when I asked her to go forward again but more to just get her used to the idea of that crop. My goal for the day had been met in the first minute of the ride so I decided to quit and drop her saddle off in the middle of the arena.
On Thursday I accidently got Hola a little rattled before getting on. I was waiting for a friend to come out to the barn so that I could ride (I still am not comfortable getting on when no one is outside) so I started up with Monster but I guess I was in a hurry and I didn't give her enough time to get used the idea before winging under the lead. That horse jumped from spot to another, about ten feet away, in the blink of an eye. "Why am I getting on this creature?", I thought. But before I could get her in a more relaxed state of mind my friend J came out and I needed to get started (I told him I needed ten minutes of his time, max). So I hop on. And Hola walks off with more energy than even the day before. But she dropped her head a little and kind of said "Okay, this I am cool with". I had set up some cones to give me something to focus on in my turns which really helped. She guides really lightly (even though she stalls sometimes mid turn). About three minutes in to my ride another man (a friends husband) came out to the barn. His presence, combined with that of the young man watching me gave me this sudden surge of bravado! Weaving between some pylons didnt seem too impressive. I needed to show these boys that I had some cojones! So I thought... let's see if I can push Hola up to a trot. So I did!.... for about a stride and half. Hola was really uncertain. She seemed to say "Ah... hell no! I cant trot with your fat ass up there!" but she tried so I let her quit. I asked again and she went three strides before quitting. She was a little pissy about it but she tried and didn't throw in any monkey business so I decided to quit while I was ahead.
Not bad. Not bad at all for our third ride back!