Well, the gang I got in today only consisted of the three client horses, unfortunately.
Though she continues to be difficult to catch, she was not as frantic in her attempts to dodge me today, and I was able to catch her without fully cornering her. Once I caught her, she was pretty compliant with my rubbing her everywhere, and she walked off when I left her, as opposed to the normal chicken-with-its-head-cut-off bolt she normally does. She even stopped and watched as I left the pen only about 10' away from her! Seems ridiculous, but it is progress nonetheless!
I actually had his owner watch us work under-saddle today - to say I was terrified to actually ride this big beast given his prior history of reactions I've seen, is an understatement. I was absolutely mortified, and for the following, legitimate reasons:
1. He's big
2. He's big and highly explosive
3. Being a RBI, he really gives little indication of an impending explosion
4. When he does explode, there is no stopping him
5. He's good at being explosive (refer to #1 and also his photos that demonstrate a conformation that allows for fabulous athleticism, and...bucking)
6. He's terrified of anything to do with working under-saddle
7. He's studly. Refer to #1. Now, with the size and power of his hooves in mind, think of those huge feet smashing down on your head once you've been bucked off.
Now do you understand my fear?? Horses I am afraid of are few and far between, and horses I am always nervous around are needles in a haystack, but this is one I am wary of.
His groundwork went very well though, actually - the best it's ever gone. He was thinking, responsive, calm, and submissive. Two thumbs up! Mounting up and sitting in the saddle he was great, though moving out he seemed very unsure and very unconfident. His body was stiff as a statue, though I just asked him to do several sets of 3-4 steps, rest with me in the saddle, and that was it. Overall a very good session though. I didn't want to push him under-saddle, even though I know he has been ridden, albeit eons ago. If I push him now (when he is so uncomfortable and on the edge of an explosion), I risk backtracking a lot of our work.
Mustachio man was awesome today! His ground games were a breeze, and he was so relaxed under-saddle!! We only walked since the ground was still a little soft, but he was bending around my leg, sidestepping, doing turns on the hind/fore, turning off my leg, and was bending appropriately (rather than arcing to the right on the left rein, he was relaxed and arcing a little to the inside). I was very proud of him!!
I had to tear into town for a chiro appointment and had planned on working Missy on my way back but instead stopped in at a truck dealership in my quest for finding a truck asap. Then it was groceries (since I'd been putting them off to the point where I was now either living off fast food or just not eating - eugh), home, and more truck investigating so I'd have some trucks to look at tomorrow. Ciaos peoples!