Saturday, July 7, 2012

My first ride on Rondo!

I promised a few updates...  The most important one is, of course, that on Thursday I rode Rondo for the first time!  My trainer had ridden him the prior week, when I couldn't be there, and she rode him first on Thursday, so she had been on him three times before I got on for my first ride.  We are still riding him bareback, although this time we grabbed my bareback pad -- next time we will probably ride with the saddle.  He's had it on before and he's fine with it, but initially she wanted to be able to bail quickly if he had a "WTF" reaction to being ridden.

I only walked him a little -- no trotting.  I haven't ridden any horse other than Panama in probably four or five years, and I didn't want to trot him for the first time bareback when he only had three rides on him, if that makes sense -- mainly because I wasn't sure I knew how to sit his trot bareback, and I didn't want my reaction to freak him out.

He did goose once.  He had stopped to look down at the little boy I nanny for (he was there with us), and I kicked him to get him to move forward.  Ironically it wasn't the kid who startled him (at another point, the boy was kicking the block, and even that didn't bother Rondo), it was my kick.  Even so, the spook was over almost before I even realized what had happened, and on the video you can even hear me laughing afterward.

Without further ado, here is the video of my first ride on Rondo!

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2 Comments:

At July 9, 2012 at 8:47 AM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

That's exciting, and your bravery always amazes me. I would have never ridden a horse that green with a child in the vicinity. Even now, at the age 19, my son still flails his limbs around and jungle gyms and does things that worry horses. He causes stampedes in one silly movement. Like you said, it looked like Rondo almost forgot about you for a minute there while checking out the boy, and your kick startled him. But, of course, at the same time, we can't ride our horses in a cocoon. They have to get as many experiences as possible.

I told you about the one indoor riding arena where I took lessons on Bombay when he was young and green, and they had kittens all over the place, jumping up onto the walls and trying to jump on the horses' backs. Some swung from the horses' tails. The riding instructor wasn't in the least bit concerned about her students' welfare. I guess she figured working on the horses' fear instinct was all a part of it, but I also worried about those kittens getting punt-kicked across the arena. It made me realize how much easier it is to train a horse than a kitten, though.

 
At July 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Actually, I was a bit worried about the boy being there, but my trainer assured me that it was all right. She pointed out that Rondo doesn't spook at things like Panama does, and said I will have to get used to not anticipating that he will. And she was right -- the kid bounced around, kicked the block, and all sorts of things, and Rondo never cared. (Too bad he didn't feel the same way about the rain a couple of days later!) I think you are probably right -- he'd forgotten I was even there, and that's why my kick startled him so much!

As for the riding instructor at your old barn, you know, I'll bet she figured that her kids would have to get used to the idea at some point that horses could spook at any time. To ride a horse you have to be willing and able to ride the spook, too, after all.

But the story about the kittens reminded me of the rabbit in our indoor arena. It seems to live between the low wooden arena walls that keep the sand in, and the outer metal walls. It has scared Panama a few times in the past, and he often looks for it now. But the other night, we were riding along and it unexpectedly jumped right out into our path and went hopping away. Panama's reaction was hilarious -- he slammed on the breaks so fast that I ended up balanced over his neck, and just stared at the retreating rabbit. Much better than the violent shy or bolt that the rabbit used to inspire, I suppose. ;o)

 

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