Awww-My big, fat, black mare hasn't changed a bit.
She can still blow up like she did when she was 4.
I've gotten some horse time in the last couple of evenings. I'm riding Moon bareback and let him plod around while I pony Frosty. Then I ride Frosty.
Last night I decided to saddle Queen. She has been very, very good on the ground. She's always been a rather spooky old bat about that. I just ignore her snorting and blowing and go on about my business. It's always worked the best that way when it comes to her.
I got her out, cleaned her up and we went into the arena and did a bit of lunging and some showmanship maneuvers. She likes those. For some reason they always make her drop her head and start licking her lips. That's her comfort zone I guess.
I sacked her out a bit and trotted her around me, letting the saddle pad fall off a few times. Another little trick that for some reason always seems to relax her. She is an odd mare.
Saddling was no big deal. I just plopped my old cutting saddle up there and we walked around a bit without cinching it up. No problems there, so I cinched her up.
This mare has to be one of the finest skinned, most sensitive horses I have ever had the misfortune to own.
We walked a couple of steps. I tightened her another notch. Walked a few more steps. Tighten again. It's weird how things just kept coming back to me about her. I saddled her once, a couple years ago and she didn't do anything except trot around the round pen, but other than that...she hasn't been saddled or ridden in 8 years. But all of her weird little idiosyncrasies came right back to me last night.
The second time I tightened the cinch...I saw it coming! So I quickly pulled another notch in the cinch, no way was I going to let her blow up with my saddle loose enough so it might slip under her belly. She is as round as a barrel, so I was a little worried about it slipping anyway.
I just stood there holding the lead rope and let her do her thing. That is an advantage of her being so light I guess. She never hits the end of a leadrope. No matter how hard she may spook or blow up and buck, if you have something on her head, she will immediately give to pressure.
So there she was...bucking for all her fat worth and bawling like a bronc on the end of the leadrope.
Now normally, holding onto a horse that is putting on a rodeo show isn't something I recommend. I prefer they get as far away from me as possible. But I know this old mare's tactics like the back of my hand. She is all bawl! She can buck, there is no doubt about that. But she does not run over you, nor does she kick out. She simply balls up, bucks like crazy and makes a lot of noise. Pretty soon her brain kicks in again, she'll pull her head up and stare at you with big, wide eyes and you swear she is wondering what the hell that was all about. There is not a mean bone in her body.
We stood there staring at each other for a couple of minutes. I was really trying not to laugh while I waited for her to compose herself. That would have been the end of it I'm sure. What I wouldn't have given to have Megan or Chris there to video it for you guys.
But, when I went to step off to get her moving again, I tripped over The Red Dog, who I didn't even realize was sitting next to me and as I floundered around trying not to fall down, it obviously scared Queen and the rodeo was on again. Not having my balance, I threw the leadrope away so I didn't end up under her feet and away she went. Bucking and bawling around the arena.
She made a full lap, giving it all she had...but then she was out of breath. There is something to be said for fat, out of shape horses after all-LOL.
After that, it was all over and we lunged a bit more and walked around. I flopped the stirrups around and banged on the saddle seat, but she was done. Her brain was back and she took everything else in stride.
So tonight we will repeat the saddling, I'll pony her for a bit and this weekend I'll be back in the saddle on the old girl. For all of her antics on the ground, the mare has never, ever bucked with me in the saddle. But just for safety and confidence measures for both of us, I'll be moving to the round pen and I'll have My Honey on Moon in the round pen with me when I get on for the first time. He can pony us around a few laps to help keep things settled. That aught to be an experience for him.;-)
I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I'm going to go watch a Dressage Show for a bit on Saturday, spend some quality time with my own ponies and then on Sunday we are heading someplace(??) for a fishing trip. Monday, I made Chris swear to help me get the garage cleaned out, so I can finish painting it and we can get that all in order. Sheez-I wasn't nearly this busy in SD!
And I promise I will get better about getting pictures. That's one of those things I could always count on Miss Megan doing for me.