*All pictures posted are with the permission of the kids’ mother*
I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend (if you got it off). I love long weekends because I can still be productive and have a full day of being lazy without feeling guilty.
Saturday our friends came down to visit and the mom and kids went with me to ride Scarlet. They’ve been out once before and seemed to have a lot of fun. I tried to see if the used tack store had any children’s stirrup leathers as they are so much shorter than me. They did not so we had to resort to shortening my stirrups all the way and then putting their feet in the leathers on top of the stirrups instead of in the stirrups proper. It worked well enough for a 5-10 minute walk in circles.
I rode first to make sure Scarlet wasn’t feeling too good. He wasn’t, per normal, so I threw their mom on the lunge line and had her just focus on riding the gaits. Scarlet’s trot is… hard to sit if you aren’t able to get him lifting his back at all. So I ended up having her walk and canter for a bit. She used to ride when she was younger but has forgotten how much effort it takes. 🙂
After she rode, I stuck the oldest kid on. Last time, I just walked them around on the lead. This time, I wanted them to focus a bit more on actually learning to ride. Since they both wanted to come ride again, I took it as a good sign. We worked on her starting and stopping Scarlet. Unfortunately, my saddle doesn’t make it easy for her legs to signal to Scarlet but we managed to get a light pony kick and vocal commands to work out pretty well. After that, I had her practice it in a circle around me on the lunge line. I then had her let go of the reins and practice moving her arms out and around to help her remember that she had balance without holding onto the saddle. She even trotted a bit, though that was pretty bumpy and she didn’t like it as much.
Afterward, her little brother got on. He is super enthusiastic about grooming and giving Scarlet treats. It’s really funny to watch because he is so small that he doesn’t even clear Scarlet’s legs but he will stand there and give it all he’s got. Scarlet had a bit of trouble figuring out that the small creature had food at first but afterward he would constantly sniff him to see if he had treats. I ran through the same process with him as I did with his sister, here is how to go, how to stop. We practiced that a bit and then I had him balance on his own as well. He did very good with that. He wasn’t as interested in trotting but he did do about half a circle. Trotting is pretty overwhelming and while Scarlet is a small horse, its a long way off the ground for a kid.
We called it a day there and put him away. Scarlet was glad because he kept giving me side eye as each new person got on. I could practically hear him saying “Again? What on earth are you doing to me cookie lady?!”
Saturday I took a completely lazy day but I went out Monday morning. Holly happened to be out lunging in the arena so I took Scarlet over after tacking up to say hi. He and Uno sniffed each other over the fence and played bitey face a bit. It was all completely friendly and not too enthusiastic. We are pretty confident we can introduce them over the fence another time or two and then put them out together after a ride and supervise. We think they would just play but play can get dangerous if they get too into it. We’d rather take it slow and then be able to safely let them have some horse time than get too ambitious and end up with injuries.
We had a good ride after that and I felt pretty satisfied with my weekend overall.