I don't ride as often as I'd like, but I always think of riding like reading a book. You may go on and do lots of other things, but when you go back to the book, you're still on the page you last read. Sometimes, you have to back up and reread a bit to remember where you left off. Anyway, my horses have always been like that. They're ready to pick up where I've left off, or turn back a page or two. That's why it is so important to end a session with them on a positive note.
Yesterday, My daughter and I decided to go for a ride on Scout and Nadia. Although the sky was cloudy, we figured we could still go for a quickie. However, before we went, I decided to address a problem that has been steadily building.
The last few times I've ridden Scout he has gotten a little more and more flinchy about the saddle pad and saddle although I don't know why. More and more, he spooks, even to the point of sitting back on the rope. So yesterday, I decided to end all that. I held the lead and let him smell the saddle pad. Then I worked him over with it, gently rubbing his neck, back, legs, and belly. I did this on both sides. He calmed down a lot and began to accept it. I began to lay it down on his back a bit more business-like, but I never got him to accept it down over his head and eyes. I'm wondering if his ears are just super sensitive because of gnats. Anyway, I finally saddled him and looked over to my daughter and Nadia, who was already saddled and patiently waiting. Looking at the dark clouds in the sky, we decided a storm was imminent; so we went into the barn and began unsaddling the horses when the raindrops started. I suppose it was a good lesson for Scout although it was disappointing for us. If my theory is correct, I will not have problems saddling Scout next time. We'll see.
Earlier in the day, I flashed a dog food sack around at the horses while they ran in the arena. As a way of desensitizing, I had left it in the arena the day before where they could go up and check it out at their own choice. Now, they weren't terrified of it, but I did get them to run a bit. Here are some pictures.
Excuse my photography skills, or lack there of. However, I do really like the last one of Nadia. She does not usually take very good pictures.