I suppose the honeymoon is over. The last two or three times, Soldier has moved away from the mounting block when I’m in the process of mounting him bareback. He’s also started moving away the moment I’m on his back.
This time, though, I am lucky in that Patrisha is there to help. So last night, she, I and Soldier had a little training session.
I think now that Soldier’s used to me, he’s beginning to push the limits. This is what I mean by the honeymoon being over. How much can I get away with, he thinks? This is normal horse behavior but I can’t say I like it.
I tried the mount and then treat method but it didn’t work. Patrisha showed me another: at his left ribcage, take the reins in both hands like I ride. Pull on the right rein so that, ideally, he moves his hindquarters towards me, not away. The moment that hip moves in the right direction, release the pressure.
Soldier tried to get away with backing up. No sir. No sir. Working together, with Patrisha schooling and me treating, we got him to stand quietly without moving while I mounted.
When he stood for mounting, I did so.
We were supposed to meet again today, but something came up, so maybe this weekend, I’ll go to her place for another schooling session.
I am happy she is there and willing to take the matter into her own hands. I am glad that I didn’t let pride and arrogance take over and pretend to be an expert in all things horse. I was that way…a little…when I was a kid. In this way I am happy to have a fifty-seven year old brain. It no longer is concerned with social maneuvering.
While I was riding last night, concentrating on my seat, my hands, my legs, my weight…again, I felt THAT feeling..the one that says, Correct. The one that feels like riding is effortless. This time it lasted for almost a minute, I think, not just a few of Soldier’s strides. I think in both cases, it was where I was trying to match my breathing rate with his, and trying to hold my body so that he wasn’t carrying all of me, and really trying to zone in on him.
Part of the problem, though, is that Soldier will not come onto the bit, or even lack thereof. He goes with his head way up, to avoid contact.
Nevertheless, it felt good.
I love riding well. It’s just so damned hard getting there.