Colt Starting - Shimmering Princess - Preparations for the First Ride [Slideshow]
She is a very smart and sometimes opinionated mare. It was very important to the owner, that she would be with a trainer who would educate her with respect for her personality.
Princess is now at the Plessis for 2 weeks and has learnt essential skills on the ground. These skills will give her the necessary preparation for her first ride.
I focused on winning their interest and heart - Princess has to think that my ideas are interesting!
Click through the pictures to learn what I did with her to win her interest and heart. But also to make sure that she will be attentive and willing when I ride her for the first time.
I showed her plenty of strange objects. She is a very curious mare, for some people too curious. Princess wanted to look at EVERYTHING - which is great if you know how to use it to your advantage. Never knock curiosity out of a colt
“Oh it can bounce as well?” she seems to say. You can clearly see how her curiosity is helping me here.
If a young horse can accept a ball on the back, accepting the rider and saddle will be a lot easier already.
Princess learnt a lot about yielding to steady and rhythmic pressure. I need to have enough communication that I can easily control speed and direction of her feet. The better she understands how to respond appropriately to pressure on the ground, the easier it will be for her to understand me once I will ride her.
Although she is going to be a western riding horse, she thinks jumping is fun. I send horses over little jumps when I get them used to saddle and cinch. If a horse still feels the need to buck, it will do so after the jump. If the horse jumps nicely, it is usually fine and alright with the pressure of the cinch.
“Now, what could that thing be about…..” Find out in the next picture
Princess is learning to position herself to the mounting block. I am getting her ready to accept me on her back for the very first time.
First I am jumping up and down to get her used to the movement and to teach her to stand still.
Once she accepts me jumping up and down, I jump higher and lay over her back for the first time. She is curiously checking me out, it is a new sight for her.
“Oh here is something funny, let's see what happens if I bite it!” It is important at this stage that the horse engages in the process. I can only be effective if I encourage her participation. She is biting my shoes because she wants to know what it is.
Good girl, Princess! To accept a rider can be so easy!
Repetition is key. Are you ready, Princess, for another round?
When I am laying over the back like this, I always have an eye on her facial expression. This allows me to read her and to adapt to her.
Before sitting up, I am laying all long on her back. After all, the rider should be just another friendly game.
A whole body friendly game!
I repeat this also from the right side.
After this session Princess has a whole lot to think about! She mastered an important step in her life: accept a rider on her back for the very first time!
A whole Body Friendly Game
Accepting a rider on the back for the first time shouldn’t be scary. It can be done so nicely together and in communication with the horse. After all, it is just another form of friendly game - a whole body friendly game.
Read more about Shimmering Princess