Although, how steady and reliable are most ponies? Really?
|Ponies are the devil.|
Friday afternoon they met me at the barn and got to meet Spud - grooming, leading, etc and just getting a history run-down of what he's like. After that, I saddled him up, we rigged the stirrups and headed to the back pasture where I was going to lunge him.
|We do this pretty well.|
He lunged great to the left and to the right, pitched a miniature bucking fit (no pun intended!). I do feel that his fit was due to the saddle - it doesn't sit exactly flat on his back due to the fact he doesn't really *have* a back. A rear cinch should help, but I'll also experiment with pads to see which fits him best. Unfortunately, miniatures are difficult to truly fit and that's just something that will always be a large problem.
After the lunging, S stepped up into the stirrup a few times and set back down, jiggled the saddle, and finally, swung a leg over and sat on his back. I led S along and Spud plodded like a quiet old school pony, which was exciting to see. After leading in both directions, walk and trot, I decided to stretch Spud's tolerance (and our luck!) and unclipped S from the safety of the leadrope.
|First few steps.|
And yes... that is Suzie's A/P pad.
Instantly, Spud got "stuck". I could see he was confused about what he was supposed to do when S applied leg and went over a few times to "unstick" him and promote the forward energy. After helping unstuck him a few times, I let him and S try to work it out on there own, wherein Spud got frustrated and immediately went down onto his knees and laid quietly in the grass. It wasn't a violent maneuver - it was more of a "I don't know what you want!" move.
So, after that little stint, I popped them onto the lunge and worked on S using her legs to get him going and vocal cues from her, rather than from me. It worked quite well and we did some walk/trot and had S work on steering him. After that, I unclipped them again and they successfully lapped at the walk without help from me.
The session in total lasted maybe half an hour, despite the ramblings and break-down on what we did and what we achieved. We've planned for another date this week for S to get back on and really start to work on being "on their own".