Butt to saddle, that is. Or butt to bareback. And not for long. The windchill today is horribly bitter, and I also had the BO out with me to ‘help.’ She means well, but she strikes me as being more intimidated by Lucky than I am. I’m not, especially, besides a certain unease about riding I think is mostly just not knowing what he’s going to be like. I don’t find him to be especially sensitive about having his belly touched, nor do I think chewing on the bit is displeasure (especially since it’s a copper dee–I want him to be working it.)
In any case, the BO held him for me while I tried mounting from the stump in the arena. That was attempt number one, as either he is in fact taller than I think or I just don’t have the spring in my knees I once did (probably the latter) but he was in any case very tolerant of my hanging with one leg half over his rump. We tried the block next, the layout of which I’m not thrilled with–you have to walk the horse between the block and the fence, which is maybe a two and a half foot gap. Very narrow, easy to bang his leg on the block or mine on the far fence, plus reminiscent of the gate with the assistant starter over his head, as evinced by his desire to back out of it every time. Having the BO there did come in handy as I had her hold him and prevent him backing up once I was on him. Given he felt less than thrilled to have me on him without a saddle (and to be fair I have no idea if he’s ever been ridden bareback at all) just being able to walk him forward was good enough. It was also freezing and the wind was making drifts knee-deep (his knees) in the ring. Contributing to my decision to just try bareback was that he is fuzzy, and not having a cooler I don’t particularly want to get him in a sweat with a pad.
Speaking of the cold, does anyone else feel guilty putting a metal bit in their horse’s mouth? I have yet to find a good way to warm up his bit. Rubbing it in my hands doesn’t seem to help, nor does breathing on it, and we don’t have hot water in the barn.
And in dog news, four and a half miles of walks seems to at least slow them down a bit.