Today, I started with Nina. I did just a little groundwork to make sure she was feeling ok (which she was - Very OK and full of energy!). Then, I took her into the round pen and started letting her reacquaint herself with the saddle and pad. She was quickly comfortable, so I started swinging the pad off and on. She was quickly cool with that, too. Then, I went for the saddle.
I had Steve out there with the camcorder because I thought it would be neat to chronicle Nina's journey to becoming a trusty mount. Yesterday, when she wore the saddle for the first time, she bucked and I thought it would be cool to get some video of that if she did it again. However, today, I put the saddle on and she was non-plussed. She simply walked and trotted and cantered on the circle like I asked. With the saddle. Good girl!!
But then... I took her into the arena to do some more groundwork with the saddle on and she decided it was a good time to show her will. We went for quite a while and I was seeking for a place to stop. She got extremely extroverted and displayed a lot of antics. She had a very hard time with the figure 8 pattern and was struggling to squeeze past me. She showed some defensive behavior with when I asked for sideways and she circled at a gallop. I played some friendly game and tried to improve friendly with the carrot stick - we made some good progress with that in spite of her antics. I look forward to what she offers the next time we play.
Then, I dragged my arena and set up a 20m circle with 4 points. The goal was to get Z going around the circle steady, rhythmically and for me to practice correct riding (dressage style). Z a good girl and she offered the canter multiple times. I didn't want to discourage it, but I also wanted to focus on the walk and trot. The circle got old fast (for both of us) and I played some corner game with her. Then, we did some cloverleaf patterns and I tried to focus on keeping her between my legs and and keeping her pace steady. I didn't feel like my rising trot was as good as when Loma watched me. I have to try again before we lesson again.
Then, I played with Cowboy. I wanted to do a program of calm ground work and get him to trust me a little. Today he did the coolest thing; he sighed when we walked into the arena. He Sighed! He's coming along very nicely. His sideways looks much, much better and he's cantering online with a small ask. I think about the emotions he displayed the session we had in the dark the week before I feel like he acts out when he feels over-stimulated or afraid. I can handle that. He's going to be a nice horse in a couple months. I'm excited about him.
I need to get back to Gemini - at least once a week.
A great day.