I know I say this alot but I am very lucky to have Sam. He shone once again on the weekend, twice!!!! On Saturday afternoon he was used as a 'school horse'. I started chatting with one of the ladies out at the paddock about the troubles she is having with a horse that she is riding. It isn't her horse as she doesn't have one to ride at the moment so the owners let her have free access to this horse. It is starting to buck and tries to bolt off during canter out in wide spaces. I asked what aids she was giving and what she does when he does this. It turns out she is self taught and has no idea on how, why you use your seat and legs. She relies totally on her hands. She didn't understand a lot of things I was saying so..........
I put her up on Sam so she could feel what it is like when a horse moves off your seat and leg. He isn't great but could give her a feel for what she needs to start aiming to. It also showed that she has no balance so we worked on her position. Sam did so well. He only did things when she asked correctly and when she lost her balance he started to speed up in the trot but then after a while he would halt. If she fell forward in the trot he would hit the breaks. This caused her to fall forward even more but it also helped her find a position that kept her more stable. I was very proud of him!
I took him for a canter out above the paddocks after that because I didn't think it fair for him to be cooped up in the round yard for the whole ride.
On Sunday I had big plans for Scott to come out and video me so I could see this new position I have. It turned out to be cold, wet and windy so I thought I would give it a miss. The afternoon when I went out to feed turned out to be quite nice so I decided to hop on for a short ride. I think he was happy to get out and stretch his legs. Even though he is in a paddock the ground is slippery and he does look after himself in that way. We made our way down to the large riding paddock to help another friend. I had to take photos for her to send to her horses previous owners. I took Sam for a canter on both reins first just to get the little 'fizz' out. I was able to drop the reins and put my arms out by my sides and he just cantered around at the same speed and listened to my body to turn! AWESOME!!!!! He then stood stock still while Bec cantered around us and I took photos. Even when she decided to start popping over a few show jumps he stood still and watched! He really is the bestest pony in the world!!!!
When we finished Bec and I decided to take them out into an area that I don't normally ride all the way around because the neighbours horses always gallop over to the fence and carry on. I was very nervous but Bec stayed with me and helped me through it. Sam once again was a rock. I was getting very nervous and worked up - horses were galloping around and whinnying - I was getting ready for Sam to just kick up his heels and join in! You won't believe what he did - stopped and had a wee!!!!! Not a short wee but a long one with groans! So as you can see he wasn't bothered at all! He was unsure of a log that we had to pass but after he had a look and sniff he didn't mind and continued walking on with a loose rein.
So even though I was so tense through my body he just kept plodding along. I know he takes a lot of confidence from the other horse we are with but I figure that we have gone around once now he should be pretty good if we do it alone!