A month or so ago I felt like Dickie just wasn't ready to push under saddle. His attention span was all over the place and he had the spring crazies. He seems to be calming down and somewhere along the line I realized he is as ready to be pushed as he will ever be. He ground drives, stops from long line pressure, W/T/C from voice command, stands at the mounting block. tolerates mounting/dismounting, and his attention span is improving daily. I planned on getting him going during my vacation that happened a bit sooner :) The BFF sent me a text to say he was getting off early and we should ride Dickie. It just so happened that I was getting off early too. I threw on a sweatshirt over my scrubs and BFF brought me some jeans and I was ready for some pony starting.
I went through my usual routine of lunging with lots of transitions. When I lunge a horse my goal isn't just to "wear them out." You can't wear a hot horse out, you just get them more frazzled, and they are even fitter/spazier for the next ride. I ask for lots of transitions between gaits and tempo changes within the gait so the horse is mentally tuned in to me.
After I worked him the BFF took over since he would be getting on first. We both expected some fire works when it came to telling Dickie he had to move forward when he really wanted to watch what the lesson girls were doing. He gathered up a little like he might rear but the BFF has started enough horses to get Dickie moving right away. Once Dickie started to understand what was being asked he seemed to actually enjoy the whole process. Pretty soon the BFF is trotting and Dickie looked happy as could be. BFF hadn't planned on cantering but trotting went so well that he gave him a kick and said "canter" annnnnnd HE CANTERED!! There were a few small mini bucks here and there when he was first figuring out how to balance with a rider but that was it. They did a few canters each way and I hopped on.
It felt great to get on. He was already figuring out how to move off the leg and has a good "whoa" installed from the rein and voice. It was going so well that asked for a trot. He felt amazing. I had the biggest grin on my face. I wanted to keep going forever but I knew Dickie was tired deserved to be done. I felt great to finally be working towards some under saddle goals. It meant so much to have my BFF there. He has started many horses and Dickie is my first, so he gave me some great ideas.
I have photo proof. They are from my iPhone so the quality isn't great. The photos of my are from video so they are even more blurry. At least I finally have proof!! The only proof I have so far is a blurry photo of my knee, lol.