Tonka and I had a nice little ride yesterday. It's been a long time since I've even had a halter on him, so I walked him around a bit first, checking to make sure he was paying perfect attention, stopping when I stopped without me having to ask him, etc. He's definitely well halter broke. Before I haltered him we did a little round pen work. He's not too interested in doing that, luckily, since the point was for him to stand with me while I groomed him without him wandering or eating grass. I do need to work on him learning his voice cues though. He likes to trot, not walk when I ask. He stops nicely, but then cruises on in to stand with me, so we don't exactly have a "whoa" when he's not on the lead or under saddle. But that's okay for now.
I need a new saddle! I sold the one I had been riding him in, which is great because it gave me lesson money. It didn't fit him anymore. But now the saddle I have, which I bought for my percheron years ago, is too wide. Which is really irritating, because I ordered a narrower saddle and they sold me the wrong width AND the wrong color. Unfortunately I didn't realize it until it was too late. It does fit Soxy quite well though. But on Tonka it slides back and then it's balanced all wrong and feels weird to ride in. I'm sure it doesn't feel right to him either. I'm going to try to get by using one of my dad's saddles. Hopefully it'll fit. But it's really heavy...
Anyway, I rode, after adjusting the saddle and then giving up and leaving it because it wasn't going to stay in place. We worked on him turning when I turned my body. He was somewhat responsive, but not great. I had to use my leg quite a bit, and quite often had to use my reins. He was side-passing pretty nicely though. And by the time we were done he was stopping very well off my seat and backing with little use of the reins.
A herd of deer came into the field nearby, the most I've seen here at once. It was cool. They were running around playing. Tonka was totally engrossed. His head went straight up like a giraffe and his ears were practically in my face. But I asked him to side pass and pivot on his hindquarters, and he did really well. Much better than when he didn't have a distraction. It was like he was too busy to fool around and pretend he didn't know what I was asking.
I plan on riding again today. I also have plans to worm them all, clean up the whole property, clean my son's room until it's at least passable, clean the bathroom, wash the truck (which I parked under a tree yesterday and the birds did what they do best), and finish up some paperwork for Mustang Days up in Spokane. Oh, yeah, and go to the post office. I was thinking about going to get a haircut, but I think I won't have time.