Brought herself up for more training today. No real plan, just figured I'd shoot from the hip and see where it took us.
Started out in the round pen next to the barn, the intent being to round pen her for the exercise and to get her mind right. Easy enough, right? Or maybe not...
This particular round pen happens to border the domain of the local stallion, Moses. This morning, he decided that round penning is a spectator sport, and he was just the spectator for the job. Kenya, however, was clearly suffering a little performance anxiety, as she would cut the south end of the round pen, passing me just a little too close for comfort. With some nice bucks thrown in, for commentary. This just won't do, I decided.
So we packed up out kit bag and headed to the round pen near the arena. Spent a good 30 minutes with her trotting on the rail, adding plenty of turns, and a few "stop and face me's" for good measure. She was acting a little dense when it came to turning to the left, but we worked through it.
Satisfied that she had worked some energy off, and was now focused, we worked on yielding the hindquarters, followed by the forequarters. Much easier than last time. I don't need the handy stick anymore, hand motions being adequate. She is one smart cookie.
Next came the backing exercise. Very responsive today, and I am pleased with the results.
On a whim, I draped my arms over her back, and put some weight on her. Not a twitch. Jumped up and down next to her, on both sides. I'm sure to the casual observer I must have looked like some blamed fool who was missing his pogo stick, but it's a good exercise. Get's them used to what is going to happen when you put the foot in the stirrup, and rise up. Again, not a twitch, at least from the horse. My knees however, decided to remind me that I'm 43.
Well, here goes...I decided to jump on her back. Jumped up and landed with my body draped over her like a dead person. After about two seconds she started bucking. Discretion being the better part of valor, I slid off.
This jumping crap was killing me...I have no vertical to begin with, and my knees were having none of it. Off I went to procure a mounting block. Slowly I got up on her back, laying chest down, legs over her hips, arms around her neck. I was on guard, but not scared. She didn't flinch, just occasionally looked back at me, as if to say "exactly WHAT are you doing?"
It doesn't get any better than that. Perfect point to call it a day. Took her out, and let her graze on fresh green grass for an hour.
Time to go shopping for cinch...she's ready for a saddle.