Bella and I rode again today after two days off. Of course I was trying out different pads again. I really do need to use the Ricotti pad, this saddle doesn't fit her. Hopefully it's good enough, with the extra padding. She certainly rides differently with a different pad. My round pen isn't totally level, and she kept trying to break into a trot going down hill. I figure it was shoulder pain. She didn't do quite as well with everything else as she did the last time I rode, but that could have been the two days off. Even so, she's doing so much better than she was when I posted a video. I'll get another one soon. I'm proud of her (and me, a little).
After watching Keith ride Scout I realized I'm thinking too much about her emotions, making too many excuses for her. I also decided to do a desensitizing routine before I ride, with a lead rope or stick and string, and progress to other things. That starts the ride off with her thinking, possibly worried, but soon realizing it's no big deal. I think that's a good place to start, and it's good for horses to have a routine they can count on. I also realized, and already knew this was one of my big faults but it really drove it home when I talked to Keith, that I'm asking for too much too soon. She doesn't have to do something perfectly the first day. Maybe I'll just get a try. Then we can do something else and come back to it the next day, and the next, until it's solid. While we're doing that we can still progress in other areas and work more on things she's good at, which will boost her confidence.
I am really enjoying this journey with her. And she doesn't irritate me! Tonka is always moving, fidgeting, playing, being a spaz, trying my patience, checking to see if I'm still on my game. He makes me become a spaz, simply to keep one step ahead of him. He's not hard to take most of the time, but lately with him not getting enough exercise his energy drives me nuts. Bella isn't like that. She's a calming influence.
Speaking of Tonka, he's been going for walks for the last 3 days, just for 10 minutes, and his leg seems fine. I'm so excited! I might take him for a 15 minute walk tomorrow.
Here he is taking a break at the crab apple tree, hoping I won't make him stop.
We had a glorious storm here tonight. Wild sunset, lots of lightning and thunder, and then torrential rains. I love the first rain in August after it's been so dry for so long. It's very renewing.
I'm on the hunt for a horse trailer of my very own after all these years. I found a couple I love but one is in Montana, a 5 hour drive one way, and one the people don't seem real interested in showing to me. That and with school starting this week it's hard to find time... I did finally decide what I really want in a trailer if I can find it on my limited budget - a 3 horse slant with dividers and a tack room. I like the 3 horse, even if I only usually haul one, because eventually I can haul all three of our rideable horses to go trail riding. Also, if I want to haul someone else's horse I can stick Tonka in front and the strange horse in the back and they can't mess with each other.
Oh, and since I didn't take pictures of the awesome obstacle course at Hooper Crossing, here's a link. The photos don't even touch the surface of what he has out there though.
I've gotta get off my feet. Good night!