I got out of work a little late, which didnt make me happy!!! I wanted to be home early, I had a pony to torture!!
DH had a rough day Thursday, and was exhausted. He passed out after he got home and fed the critters Thursday evening. So, in addition to working Cas I was on am feed duty ! Threw food at the dogs, let them out and went to get Cas ready.
He was a good boy on the lunge line. His only hang up was his changing directions. I know that this is a problem of his, and we will keep working on it. I let him/made him lope a bit longer than usual.... I had my helmet on, and had dressed Cas in a headstall with a tomb thumb, the reins were draped around my neck in anticipation of the ride that was waiting at the end of Caspers lunge.
He stopped like a gentleman at the end of the line, turning slightly inward and waiting as I gathered the line and made my way to stand next to his handsome head. I grabbed the reins from my neck and clipped them onto the end of the shanks of the Tom Thumb. As we walked together, to the tree stump that would be my mounting block, I tossed the lunge line off to the side so he wouldn't get tangled up in it as we rode. I positioned him at the stump so that I coul get in his back, his left side closest to the stump. To say I wasn't slightly nervous would be a lie. I was. I hadn't ridden in a long time, and Casper hadn't been ridden in a long time. I mean, really ridden. Sure, he's the horse that gets every child and adult who comes over that has an inkling that they want to ride tossed onto his back, but that is without saddle and bridle. They ride bareback and have me leading them around. This is different.
I click the connector on my helmet together as I stand In front of the stump. I grab the reins that are resting on his neck in my left hand, and step up onto the stump. My heart begins pounding a little harder as he turns his big blue eye my way to see what in doing. I scratch his neck for a second and tell him he's a good boy. Leaning forward I put some weight onto his back, to make sure he isn't going to freak out. You never know, he is a horse after all. After a few minutes I'm pretty confident he won't panic. Still a bit scared, but I am sure this too shall pass. I lift my left foot up and into the stirrup with a deep breath and put weight into it. He doesn't move. I take my foot out, wait a few seconds and try again. The second my foot hits the stirrup he moves way right, making it impossible to keep my foot in. I hop down, move him over and try again. Same result, he spins to the right. I get down, move his hind end in some right circles to the left and try again. We repeat this a few times before he is standing still again when my foot is in the stirrup. Any confidence in him that I had was gone by this time. I had pretty much convinced myself that I wasn't going to ride today. We'd made progress with him standing still, and I thought that was good. I'd talked myself out of riding until tomorrow. Then I remembered that a really great friend had told me " you can dooooo eeeeet", and I couldn't let either of us down. I summoned all my courage and with one smooth motion I put my left foot in the stirrup, put my weight in it and stood up. I swung my right leg over and grabbed the right stirrup. I was on. I was sitting on Casper's back! Score!!!!!!
With some calf pressure and a gentle cluck he moved on and we circled around and headed into the arena. I think we were both nervous, but we made many many laps around at the walk, and 1-2 around at the jog each way. We change direction some and did some figure 8's and serpentines. He stopped immediately when I said whoa and put my hand on his neck. I dismounted, and as I did my phone, the one I had used to take a short video clip while I was riding (I needed proof ya know) fell on the ground, 2 steps in front of Cas's left front hoof. He took one step forward as I stopped in front if him, hurrying my phone in sand and dirt. Thank goodness for my Otter Box!! It was dirty but undamaged.
I walked Cas to the tree and un-tacked him. Hosed him down and let him cool out before breakfast.
It was a good day. A productive and successful day! I had ridden for the first time in forever and Casper was a good day!! I plan on riding again Saturday, although I'm sure my back will object. Chiro appointment on the 18th, so I need to baby it until then.