Yesterday I put a 'first ride' on an adopted mustang I am working with. It was quiet and uneventful, just as every owner hopes! It flooded my thoughts with some of the 'first rides' I have put on my other mustangs and inspired me to revisit some of their stories.
One of my first mustangs, Ranger (Ravendale HMA) in 2011. So much time is put into training from the ground that by the time you are ready to get in the saddle, it is just not a big deal. Here I am hanging off the side of the saddle and pretending to swing up. I do this many times so the horse has the idea of how I will be draped over them. As you can see Ranger has both ears completely focused on me but is standing quiet and still.
Cody (Copper Smith HMA) was a little sweetheart and needed some extra time to come around to the idea that riding was ok. We spent many hours working on the ground with the saddle on. I spent time running the lunge line through the stirrups so they could flap against his sides and feel secure.
A few short days later I got on. Here is that 'first ride smile' that just makes me so happy! We started with a simple pony ride, Cody felt comfortable and so we just slowly progressed from there.
This should be a familiar face, DIXIE! I remember thinking I LOVE this horse after I had my first ride on 30 days after getting her from the corrals. Who would have guessed that our adventure would not end 90 days later.
Hercules (Fox Hog HMA) at a clinic I gave in San Martin. He was sooooo sweet, and ended up coming back to me 6 months later for some more rides. He was the kind of 'get on and go' horse you dream for. It is really a testament to how well you have worked your horse on the ground since the aids you need in the saddle start well before the first ride.
Anthony and Cinna-Man (Carter Reservoir HMA) those two just had a special bond. His actual first ride involved a halter and lead rope. I looked over one day and saw Anthony just sitting on top, I was so surprised that I forgot to take a picture!