Now onto more interesting things!
Summer decided to show it's face. Chester and I were like, "ground work, riding, hanging out together, everything!!" Then, of course the rain came back and my round pen turned into a swimming pool last Monday. Oh joy! Here's the thing, it rains, the round pen gets MUDDY and has standing water, it stops raining and starts to dry up. As the weather gets nicer I do what I can with him where I can in the round pen. I can do ground work with him in about 80% of it. But that's not a big enough area to ride. I also rake it as it's drying out to even the ground. Well, the sun comes out, drys it about about 90% and Chester and I are getting really excited and doing lots of stuff.....then drip, drip......Swoosh! It pours!! Then I start the process all over again!
Two weeks ago I took Chester out on Thursday, it was around 75 degrees. I had worked on ground work three or four times over the past week so I was ready to ride! I tacked him up and even used my new saddle pad. (He looked so purty!) It was a really warm day so we were both laid back. (We had like three days where it was 70-82 degrees and that was super hot for April. Also, it just jumped up there; it wasn't gradual.) Meaning we were like, "man it's hot out here and the flys are awful!" The bugs were pretty bad.
Anyways, you get the picture! So we wandered down to the round pen and I tighten the cinch. I sent him in a lunge circle and he was really calm with no bucks. He went in two or three more circles and then we were done. He was doing fine and I didn't think I needed to lunge him. I tightened the cinch again and stepped in the stirrup.....SLIP! The saddle slid sideways. So I made the cinch tighter and tried again.....SLIP! The saddle slid sideways again! By this time it needed to be adjusted because it had slid off his withers and I wasn't using a breast collar. I undid the cinch and fixed everything. This time before I got on I stuck my figures between the cinch and his girth area. It was quite tight! Once again I lifted my foot and put it in the stirrup.....SLIP! I was ready to chuck the saddle and ride bareback. But, I wanted to use the saddle. After hollering, "Oh this saddle!" my mom came over and asked what she could do to help. I asked her to go get my other saddle pad in my tack room. My thought was, my new saddle pad was so clean and new that it was just plain slipping!
All this time Chester was calmly standing there, almost falling asleep. I will admit though, when I was tightening up the cinch a few times he was like "hey" and would walk forward. So he did move around some. He has improved so much though, from being really hyper to almost falling asleep! He is definitely back to his normal self. Calm, yet ready to rock and roll!
After I got my other saddle pad, it didn't slip as bad and I was able to get on and ride. Chester was excited and was ready to go but since I didn't have a whole lot of room to ride I stayed at a trot. He was really responsive to leg cues and neck reining. He kept wanting to turn sharply. Like around a barrel. So I pulled my right rein across his neck and started bumping his right side. He responded really well and started going in a circle and then even pivoted at one point. I think if I worked with him, he could totally spin. He definitely knows how to pivot. Sometimes if your riding him and you all of a sudden turn him he will pivot. It's really cool! I feel like a professional! =P My horse knows how to do lots of stuff, I just need to learn how to ask him correctly.
Back to the ride, he did want to go to the gate, but I would turn him and go the other way. Once the round pen is totally dry and I can go in a circle around the whole thing, I will put him to work by the gate so he won't want to go there. =)
He did fabulous though and we both had a grate time! We even cantered a tiny bit....only a few strides. But we didn't have the room too so I slowed him down. After we walked, trotted around and practiced stopping and backing up and had a grand time, we called it a day. I got off and then walked around and he followed me. It was SO cute! I loved it! I will admit he did turn towards the door a couple times but I grabbed him and turned him back to me and the he kept following me. =) It was a good day!
(Please ignore my white arms. =/ The poor things haven't seen the sun since last summer.)
Oh ya, and I was going to use my hackamore bridle, (I had cleaned it a few months ago so it was all ready) but once I put it on him, the little buckle on the neck part was rusted open. And I couldn't get it shut! So I put his halter back on.
Here are some pictures from the day before. I just worked him from the ground a little bit. It was more hot than the day I rode - so I took it easy.
"Papa's taking a picture of us Chester, your supposed to be looking at the camera!" Oh well, he's cute looking that way too!
We're getting our priorities straight! (Or he's eating a tiny sprout of grass.) I usually brush him before I take him out. But why brush him....if he's going to roll!
Aw that feels good!
QOTD: How do you break in a new saddle pad?
And, if I'm not using a breast collar and the saddle is slipping backwards, does that mean my cinch isn't tight enough??