I hope you all stayed warm this week & didn't get much snow!
Early this week before more snow & brutally cold temperatures arrived again, Roach had a couple of successful rides under saddle! To top it off, the weather & technology both cooperated to capture some video. Naturally, I didn't notice my phone had died until I was on Roach, so I didn't get that captured, but I will get the camera up again next week now that things are working.
In the first video, you'll see we started with some groundwork. Roach started off a bit overreactive, so we spent some time quieting his mind. We had burned some feed bags over the weekend & Roach was quite aware of the pile of ashes, so we spent some time working back & forth around that until he was more accepting. We also did the same with the water puddle. While a lot of the place had been full of snow, slush, or water that we've worked through, he hasn't had the opportunity to work through a single puddle. You'll see he becomes much quieter by the end of this initial groundwork.
In the second video, you can see how Roach handled being saddled. Again he had some tense moments but continued to look to me & work through it.
In the third video, we do some work from the fence in preparation for the ride. Roach got a bit stiff & worried when flexing to the right & about the stirrup bumping against his right side. We spent some time addressing those two things so that it wasn't an issue once I mounted. Roach does so well at pulling up beside the fence that we also worked on clucking to move forward away from the fence versus trying to get closer to it, which wasn't going to work once I was on his back.
During our ride, he did have a couple of tense moments during flexing, but once his feet were moving, he freed up & remembered that riding around his pen was no big deal. He was a bit unsure about my dismount from the saddle as it felt a little different than me swinging down while bareback.
Next week, the weather forecast starts to look on the up & up with consistent snow melt. We'll continue to build Roach's confidence riding under saddle.
Next week's update will be posted on Friday.