Sophie’s Third Day

DSCF9672 db800With no halter or any kind of restraint, Sophie stood calmly for the blanket and saddle. To reward her for her lack of fear, I refrained from the round pen exercises. I put the saddle and blanket on and off a couple of times. She stood patiently.

I took the saddle off and jumped on bareback. She stood patiently. I used the rope halter for a bridle and lead rope for reins. She reluctantly and awkwardly turned both ways as I pulled first right and then left from her back with the lead rope. She does not understand that the halter is meant to communicate. She is still turning her head by brute force rather than responding to a gentle touch. She moves heavily and shows a certain amount of resentment, which has not turned into total rebellion.

I led her down our 200-yard driveway to the County Road. On the County Road, I mounted. I asked her to move toward home. Finally and reluctantly she started after I had turned her both ways several times. First, she walked awkwardly but gradually she forgot herself and started walking normally.

At one point on the driveway, she burst into a run. I opted to jump off immediately rather than race down the driveway with no control. I managed to land on my feet and hold on to the lead rope. She spun around and faced me. I remounted and rode her the rest of the way home with no incident.

I asked Kathy to take the below picture of evidence of my first driveway ride on Sophie.

Sophie's First Ride

Sophie’s First Ride

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