Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More time with Nina

Met with Loma today to get one more mounted session on Nina. Work ran late and I was hurrying to get something going quickly. It was very cold today, too. I brushed her and tacked her up while she munched some grass in the barn. Then, I took her out to warm her up. We're spending more time squeezing over things - that's what she needs now. We had a nice warm up play session and she thought to leave me once or twice, but came back quickly. She bucked a little with the western saddle, but it was much better than it's been.

Then, we went in the round pen and prepped for riding. I asked her to back up and one point and she was oppositional. So, I took a few minutes to fix that up and get her softer in her back up. Backing up is hard for such a dominant horse as Nina! I asked her to canter under saddle, too - to me a very important test before mounting. She bucked a little, but settled into the canter nicely after that. I asked for a little sideways w/o the fence and she went sidewas but leaked forward quite a bit. We'll work on that some more.

Then, I asked Loma to hop on. Nina was great - confident, non-plussed, easy. I led them around a bit and had Loma hop off and on several times from both sides. All was well. Then, I had Loma hold her while I hopped on. I thought it was important for me to swing a leg over and feel that feeling of being on her. After all, I'll be riding her eventually. Her neck is so long compared to Z's! I can't touch her head at all from the saddle without her laterally flexing to my leg. Funny the things you notice...

We walked around with me on for a moment and I hopped off. I got back on the other side and sat for a minute. She was calm and easy and so was I. I'm very proud of the work we're doing - taking it slow and doing it right.

Now, my focus will be to expose her. I won't put more mounted time on her for now, I'll take her out and build her up. So, ponying on the trails, trying new groundwork, building up her brain for more riding later. That's what Loma wants and I 100% agree - that's the best place to take Nina now. Should be some fun trail times coming now! My favorite thing...

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