that is Sonny the Oversized Toddler in the background...
time as the photo above
Link and Chickadee
Played a quick round of 7 games with both Chicka and Link before saddling the two (Chicka under western and in a Parelli rope hackamore, Link under english and in a C3 Parelli cradle bit) for a trail ride with my friend. We worked both horses in the arena for a few minutes (I did figure-8's, small circles on the rail, w/t transitions, shoulder-in, haunches-in, half-pass, sidepass, and back-up with Link) before hitting the trails. Link was fabulous - he was slobbering all over that new bit (without chomping at it), giving to pressure with some nice poll flexion as well as some down-and-out stretching during our arena work!! Out on the trails he was ancy and did tend to spook a couple of times, but within reason (stack of boards being loudly dropped out of tractor bucket, Chicka spooking), and was otherwise very calm. When he did spook he was a bit of a challenge but was not once rebellious (normally he wants me off at this point - I guess he figures I am more of a hindrance should he need to take flight from that stack of horse-killer boards, plus I'm a distraction and bait to the "predator", all rolled into one - I swear his loud snorts are really shouts of "Take her! Take her!"). I enjoy missing out on attempts to unseat me, I really do. I was very impressed with his attitude and partnership out on the trails overall.
Chicka. Now Chicka's another story. She seemed a bit uptight at first and she ran my friend through a couple of tests first, which he passed quite nicely, actually. Well apparently PMS (she was in heat...liiitle attitude mixed with liiittle high-headedness) + wind (that blade of grass - I swear! - it blew the wrong way!!) + feeding time (why do they get to eat without me!!) = green rider is sent on a flying lesson. My friend reports that humans do not fly so well. I second that. Now, her buck was more of a humped-back-canter-stride...but her intentions were clear: she wanted back to her pen. We collected her and my friend walked the rest of the trail, leading her. At one point he tried her again, but the minute he mounted she prepared to take off back home, so he dismounted once again. I rode her some of the ways and she behaved with little to-do (she pranced for a moment or two but never really tested me) - she was relaxed for the most part but I could feel she was ready to take advantage of any opening I may - but did not (hehe) - leave. My friend re-mounted in the arena, where she was much quieter and more willing.
In the arena meanwhile, Link was somewhat anxious, which resulted in some fast-paced trot and canter, however he was bending nicely, softening at the poll, and responding brilliantly to my legs. Canter was a little rough, as he had a lot of power behind it...yea, I admit, it was basically a hand-gallop. Haha. More work for us! He just needs to learn he can relax into some softer gaits. Not bad though...he relaxed quickly afterwards and was pretty left-brained for the most part!! Meanwhile, I found leg muscles I had forgotten existed. Hahaha.
Chicka goes home tomorrow after our session! Hence the photos above.