Back to Dickie....... I purchased a new rope halter that has rings on the side so I could clip reins to it. That seemed like a brilliant idea. He goes better in the rope halter than the side pull but I can't get the lead rope tied on the way I want it. It also seemed like a brilliant idea to ride him with another horse in the arena for the first time. Did I mention the arena is packed with jumps Weds-Sat? To my defense I have ridden him in the arena with jumps before. And he has been in the arena with that particular horse, a big calm mare with an advanced rider on her back. I should have know it was a bad idea because he was super duper mouthy. He hasn't been this pushy and mouthy in months. And I went on put leather reins on the halter. He wanted to chew on those things so bad. You would have thought I dipped them in heroin. He didn't mind me being on his back but he very much objected to my input into the direction of travel and to my suggestion that reins are not pacifiers. We had a few rather exciting leaps with all four legs off the ground and I decided I didn't want either of us impaled on a jump. I also realized that his rope halter contraption was getting near his eye balls and not helping matters. He wasn't trying to get me off so I didn't feel like I was rewarding him by hopping off and changing venues
We went out to the round pen and it was already in use by another cantering horse. That blew his baby mind. He couldn't figure out if he should run with that horse, go and save that horse, try to stand in moms lap, or just intensely graze. We settled on grazing until they were done. I hopped back on to have a VERY uneventful short ride. His brain seems to get into more trouble when we are walking so I asked for a trot right away. We had some nice trots both ways then I was sure I was going to pass out from sweating in my vest. I took him back in the arena to so some in hand manners reminders. He was RUDE RUDE RUDE just like you would expect any self respecting three year old appaloosa/TB. We had some very terse conversations about personal space "Um, halting does not include two steps in the direction of mom before motion ceases"
It might not sound like it but all in all I am really happy with our day. Here are the main reasons I am happy with this ride:
1) The BFF told me I would run into problems on ride five or so because that he when he will feel confident enough to challenge me. He started countless horses so I believed him and was expecting it.
2) We had a nice big leaping session and I didn't panic or feel like I was near falling off. I still remember how to ride. I might not be a velcro assed twenty something anymore but I still remember how to ride a horse that has naughty on the brain.
3) Dickie might be offering some strong opinions about our sessions but he gives up and goes with the flow pretty quickly (just like on the ground). He just want to have his say before agreeing to the plan.
4) We can come back from bad space and end on a good note pretty easily. This is my first horse starting from scratch but I have worked with youngsters quite a bit. It is a good quality to have a horse that can get worked into a tizzy then come back from it easily, especially at three with just a few rides under his belt.
5) My horse has fire. I like some confidence and fire in a mount. I am not looking for a steady Eddie ho hum trail horse. When you can channel that pizazz these make the best sporthorse partners.
Lessons for next time:
1) Rope halter is retired to be used as halter only. Baby horse cannot be blamed for objecting ripping out of the eye balls during steering.
2) Future attempts at riding with another horse in the arena will occur without