Kimi and I have been training every day but Saturday.
The daily routine has become very similar with the exception of some great milestones like a lighter rein-back. There are no meltdowns or bucking fits to report. I’m happy about this, but it doesn’t make for a very interesting blog.
Today, as every day lately I have taken the regular ride up George’s driveway and back. At first, Kimi was very slow to the point of balking. I wiggled the leather end of the mecate’ around and touched his right haunch, he immediately stepped up his pace and didn’t freak out.
As every day, we practiced rein-back. He was very light and seemed to be willing to back up as long as I asked him to. He trotted every time I asked without hesitation. He had a little difficulty making the adjustment to a canter and as soon as I stopped encouraging the gait he went back to a trot.
It was a good ride today. Kimi is this starting to feel pretty stable.
…outside of the round pen, I lunged him again and rode him…
Today, he stood calmly for the saddle. When the saddle was secure I lunged him briefly two or three rounds. He was attached to me with the mecate.’ (the bosal is a rawhide band that wraps around the nose loosely with the mecate’ a combination of a lead and reins.) I got on and rode around in the pen again briefly. I wanted to make sure everything was comfortable for him.
Finally, I led him outside of the round pen and lunged him again, and rode him around the larger pen. He moved very slowly, but he generally went where I directed.
Often times colts and fillies once they have gotten a little used to being mounted move cautiously and slowly with a rider onboard. I am patient with that behavior. I want a beginner to get used everything. The colts and fillies gradually speed up on their own with steady riding.
Kimi was allowed a Sabbath rest. Sunday we were back in training.
Our session started by brushing him for 5 minutes or so. But as I was about to put the saddle on the (blanket already in place) he bolted and ran from me, of course, we were in the round pen he couldn’t get far. I put the saddle down and encouraged him to run. In a few minutes, he was licking and chewing and bobbing his head all signs of submission. I stopped and turned my back to him and he came up behind me and touched my shoulder with his nose. This time as I was putting saddle and blanket on, he stood patiently allowing me to tighten the girth. I lounged him again, but only two or three the round pen.
I mounted and rode him around in the pen for about10 minutes. I worked on halting, moving out and turning to the direction I asked him to go. He didn’t arch his back or show any kind of resistance. He walked very slowly as if he was taking care of me.
After a few minutes of asking Kimi to lunge around me in the round pen without a line, I put the saddle on and then lunged briefly with the mecate’. I mounted. We rode around in the round pen for 20 min. everything went smoothly. No one was there to take a picture.
After that, I took the saddle off and carefully brushed him.
Today I spent more time about 15 minutes riding Kimi in the round pen with a bosal and bareback. A couple of times he was a little irritated and reached around and tried to bite me (it appeared to me to be rather halfhearted). I firmly and carefully pulled his head back with the mecate’. I don’t want to get a fight going. Fights can be habit-forming, so I do my best to avoid them. I want him to get used to everything carefully and kindly and avoid a fight of any kind.
Tomorrow I’ll try to introduce a saddle with me on it.