|Starlight tentatively takes me over a wet spot.|
After I untacked her, I let her munch the long grass as a "thank you," for taking such good care of me on the ride.
|Starlight coming up a hill with a rider -- a first for her!|
Then I went for that brown and white one, Dee. She ground drove very well, with a few stops for grass and one unexpected detour up a short, rocky hill that took a minute or so to sort out.
Then, I parked her by the mounting block and prepared her for my getting on.
Let me detour to say that the one time I got on her in the past, she dumped me within seconds. It was a weird situation and experience and it made me certain that I needed to add something to my groundwork training for greenies. I have been saving her for after I started riding DeCato and Starlight, to have that much more experience under my belt. And added ground driving.
|Going like she's done it all her life.|
|Ground control to Dee: NOT THAT WAY!|
So, at the mounting block, with stirrups down and girth tight, I slapped the saddle and pushed down on it. She didn't seem to care. I wiggled it back and forth, then lay across it, full weight. No problem. I lay across it, full weight, and squirmed and squeezed and waved my feet and arms. Nada. I whacked her butt with my hands on both sides, mimicking the way you might accidentally hit the rump with your foot when mounting. Yeah, no problem. Then, full weight in the stirrup and wiggled up and down.
She was giving me the all-clear, actually still just wanting to graze, so I finally got on properly. She was still OK with that, so I wiggled around, thumped her butt, squeezed with my legs.
Dee was a sport, standing still and not minding any of this. I mounted and dismounted a few more times, then, with the good ground driving and the excellent mounting training, I pulled off the tack and finally let her graze.
|Squirming around in the saddle on a calm Dee.|
|Starlight leads Dee and Stormkite on a wild run.|
As excited as I was about the good training with the greenies, THEY were excited with what happened next. I let them out in the grass of the pasture, out of their pock-marked and muddy winter sacrifice area, for the first time. It has just been too wet until now, but this upper piece of pasture seemed firm enough to support them. You'll see from the picture they had a great time, and they got some serious grazing in, as well.