Rosie is a very green little quarter horse mare who we have at the rescue. (Well, actually, for the non-horsey folks she’s what’s called a red roan; green just means she hasn’t had a whole lot of riding yet.) I rode her 3 times in March and a foster family put a handful of first rides on her this past winter. But, she still doesn’t know a whole lot.
I’ve been working with her quite a bit the past couple of weeks as I have more time now that school is out. We went for three short rides this week, two in the round pen and one out and about through the front yard. She did excellently!! Rosie was calm and relaxed the whole time and acted like she had been doing this her whole life.
A lot of the exercises we’ve been doing on the ground recently have transfered really well to under saddle. Particularly, on the ground we’ve been working on verbal cues for woah and walk on, as well as standing patiently at the halt. Under saddle she was very light both for halting and for moving off of my leg cues.
She is a bit stiff with her steering still. While riding we’ve been doing a lot of figure-eights, circles and changes of direction to work on this. On the ground I’ll probably start doing some more ground driving exercises to help make her lighter and more responsive to rein cues. Right now we’re riding only at the walk–I’d like her walk to trot and trot to walk transitions to be solid on the ground before we attempt them under saddle!
Check out the video clip below. Rosie is calm and quiet throughout the clip. When you do the proper ground work and preparations on the ground, the transition to riding is often smooth and simple. (By the way, Rosie is currently available for adoption if anyone is interested!)