Jewel's First Ride
After some preliminary work in the round pen and before mounting for the first time, I put the saddle on and turned her loose. Jewel had to see if that thing would come off. On this very first day of saddling, believe it or not, this is OK. If the horse is never offered the chance to try to buck the saddle off, some will try bucking with a rider on later. You definitely don't want that! So better they try and see it won't come off on the very first day. After that, the horse is NEVER again allowed to buck with a saddle on.
After about 15 minutes and a few more steps in the training, Jewel settled down and accepted the saddle.
Now it's time to think about getting on.
Doesn't she look calm? You can't see in this photo but there are no hobbles, or any kind of restraint, nor is anyone holding her. That would be dangerous! She's just standing quietly because she's been taught to be calm and not to fear a rider mounting. The rider doesn't even start to get on until the horse is really relaxed.
This was the first moment Jewel ever had a rider on her back.
I got off and on both sides (Yes, the right side, too. You can do it!) many times.
After a few minutes, she moseyed off, sniffing dirt. I didn't kick her or try to steer yet. When she happened to stop, I stepped off and praised her for a wonderful first ride!
To see Jewel's second day of training,
click here for the ground work portion.
Or click here for the riding part.
If you would like to learn these methods,
click here to find a class.
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