Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spud's First Ride

It's been no secret that my plan for Spud has been not only to drive him, but break him to saddle so my nephews and eventual future kids can ride and enjoy. I don't forsee him becoming a riding horse primarily, as miniature horses aren't necessarily "meant" to carry weight. Still, I would like him to have that extra bit to add to his resume, and it wouldn't hurt to have him be a steady and reliable ride for a young kiddo.

Although, how steady and reliable are most ponies? Really?

Ponies are the devil.
First I had to find a kid to ride him, and a set of parent's who'd be willing to let their kiddo be the test dummy. A friend of a friend offered her daughter and I accepted - her daughter is quite tall and leggy, but doesn't weigh much at all. She has her own horse and rides a bit, so it was the perfect situation.

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".


  1. It's good to know that his reaction when confused is not bucking or bolting

  2. Awwww! I wish you had video. The whole thing sounds adorable.

  3. Sounds like a good first riding lesson! Spud is just too cute.

  4. Go Spud go! I still wish I was tiny so I could ride him :)