Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 8 - Under Saddle

Photo by Forever Yours Photography


Photo by Forever Yours Photography

What do I even say about today?  Marley wore a western saddle for his first time (which when I put it on him should have been terrifying enough) but he didn't mind.  I'm so used to being able to lift a light saddle up and gently set it down on the horse's back, and I simply could not do that with the western saddle.  Instead I kind of drug it up one side of him until it reached his back, set it down with the cinch stuck underneath, and messed with it until it was finally sitting correctly.  Sheesh!  Guess I need to start lifting weights.  Anything I thought that might be a problem for him, like the heavy stirrups bouncing around, the cinch (which is much less giving than an English girth), and the rear cinch which I thought he would be worried about because of his sensitivity on his belly, was a non-issue.  He was once again more excited about the sugar cubes in my pocket than he was about anything else.

Photo by Forever Yours Photography
Photo by Forever Yours Photography

Photo by Forever Yours Photography
Photo by Forever Yours Photography
After a little lunging to make sure he was comfortable in the new set up, I started working on stepping up to the saddle, putting my foot in the stirrup, and going back and forth from his left and right side.  I spent a lot of time putting more of my weight over his back and moving around all over his body.  He was attentive but at no point did he seem nervous about any of it.  Eventually, I stepped up into the stirrup, and never stepped back down.  When I swung my leg over his back and sat down in the saddle, Marley basically just made me look stupid for suiting up in full cross country gear.  Hey, I can't afford to get hurt.
Photo by Forever Yours Photography
Photo by Forever Yours Photography
Photo by Forever Yours Photography

Photo by Forever Yours Photography
Photo by Forever Yours Photography
Photo by Forever Yours Photography
I only spent about ten minutes in the saddle.  I started him in a hackamore (a bit-less bridle) and occasionally opened up my right or left hand to get him to take a step, but for the most part all I did was sit up on his back and let him figure out forward movement.  We walked around awkwardly for a bit, and once he figured that out, we even trotted a couple of times around in each direction.  I was thrilled with his willingness and acceptance, so I got off of him and literally took all of the tack off right where we were standing.  I think he actually thought it was kind of fun, as he sniffed around the tack and then followed me around the pen while I cleaned up.


Photo by Forever Yours Photography
Photo by Forever Yours Photography

video



There really are no words to describe how excited I am.  The next week is going to be all about figuring out a rider, forward movement, and of course brakes.  I can't wait!



Photo by Forever Yours Photography

7 comments:

  1. Congratulations Lauren. That is wonderful.

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  2. Hi Lauren. I am a friend of your Mom's. My name is Cindy and I am the woman who bought her company. I have been following you and Marley for the last eight days and I must say you both are adorable. I am proud of you for what you are accomplishing. You and Marley will always have a wonderful bond. Keep up the good work and I will continue to follow your journey.

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  3. It looks like a blast you two had. I know I did ;)

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  4. What a wonderful job so far! You two are surely building a bond.....what a positive experience this has all been for him so far...Great job!

    Angela

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  5. Sweet! Great Job Marley and Lauren.
    Love the video :)

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  6. Video was amazing to watch. Shows how much trust you both have in eachother. Can't wait to see more.

    ReplyDelete