Galahad had his first big let’s get out and go ride today. His last adventure was being sat on, led around and then going a short distance by himself. This afternoon he was saddled and bridled without being tied and we worked on more neck bending with the watermelon pieces and rope halter. This has made it easier to transition into the bridle and bending which we will continue to work on for a very long time.
Today he was wearing a 6 1/4 inch Mikmar combination bit, which turned out not to be to large for him. The leather reins were attached to the sides of the mouthpiece instead of the shank; I took a flat single rein and attached it to the nose piece. That way I could use the single rein with the leather reins or leave it alone. This setup worked and I will continue to use it. It took him time to get use to the larger mouth piece and more than anything I just let him pack it in his mouth and gave very soft rein cues.
(Next time we go I’ll get a photo of this setup , so check back.)
I used the mounting block to get on and once there Galahad was ready to move right out. Instead we worked on bending from the saddle for a couple of minutes. I started him off by riding close to Luc, who remained in the pasture following us down the driveway. Galahad ventured onto the road but he did not want to get far from Luc, his security blanket, so we stayed close and Luc was great about staying with us as we moved up and down the fence line. Once Galahad was going good and gaining some self confidence I headed him up an incline and into the wheat stubble field next to the driveway where he immediately had to stretch out and pee. Had a trainer once tell me when they will pee under saddle they are broke. Whell in this case, I don’t think so!
In the field we rode towards the road again with Luc in sight then I turned Galahad we and went almost a quarter of a mile away from Luc. I was shocked that he was so willing to leave Luc and venture out on his own! Once Galahad realized he had gone so far he stopped, I turned him back and he came back to Luc. We were lucky as nothing flew up out of the tall grass that line the fields to scare him and the ride went well even if he was pretty nervous. We will continue to do this on future rides increasing the distance every time. He did startle himself into a trot once we reached the driveway again and since nothing bad happened he settled back down into a walk. I do like to get them trotting out on our first real ride so that was a good thing. It’s more important to get their feet moving than asking them to go someplace.
To exit the field I stopped him, dismounted and walked him over to the heavy field equipment that was parked by our exit. He is just now getting use to the vibration and noise the crawler caterpillars make when they go past his pasture and this was good for him to go up by them.
Unsaddling and checking hooves for rocks was done completely untied. He is settling into his new routine well and just needs a lot more time under saddle now. He’s going to be awesome under saddle!
Upcoming events will be another parade on Saturday and Galahad’s 5th birthday. I am now back to work full time so it’s going to be harder to get in the much needed riding time. It’s been a perfect summer with the donkey boys!