I got my precious girl on her horse.
I gave Skyler the "talking to" when I was grooming him, letting him know how important it was to take care of our Gracie.
We practiced stopping, backing up, and then asking Skyler to talk while we squeezed our legs. We also did a little one rein stopping, but Grace didn't know we were doing that...I told her Skyler wanted to see her cute pink cowgirl boots!
Oklahoma got to graze with Gladys during the ride. I'd be lying if I said Skyler wasn't noticeably jealous.
Look at his mane! It's finally growing back in! My little red horse is looking pretty good this spring.
We rode ride until it started to sprinkle - probably about 20 minutes all in all. Not a bad attention span for a 3 year old! We were able to do this because our Nana bought Gracie a saddle of her very own. It sits in her living room on a saddle stand, and Gracie climbs up and down on her saddle about 100 times each day. You have to stay limber!
Two weeks prior, I hauled the ponies out to a friend's arena and rode both horses. I only have pics of riding Skyler, but trust me, Okie and I spent a lot of time together that Saturday. As I was leading Okie to the arena to do a little groundwork, he jumped up and got his leg over the rope, then started to walk away from me and pulled the rope out of my hands. It took him about 2 seconds to realize he was free, and he took OFF! He ran to the trailer, first, to show Skyler his newfound freedom. Then he ran to the pasture to greet the other horses. Then he went through the barn and back around by Skyler, and finally into the back yard of the owner's house. That's where I finally nabbed him with my friend's help. What a freakin' stinker! However, I think he kind of tuckered himself out doing his best Arabian impression (tail and head in the air, prancing around like a girly-man!), and he did not have one single mis-step the entire rest of the ride.
When Skyler lopes, he feels like a freight train and I don't ever feel like I'm sticking in the saddle that well, so I was glad to look at these pics and appear to be sitting in the saddle well.
Grace wasn't about to be at an arena and not get a ride, so I threw her in my saddle and around we went.
Skyler tends to carry his head really low when we add Gracie in the saddle, and I was thinking he was going to try to roll so I kept lifting his head up. He's never rolled with me on him before, but I noticed him doing this a few years ago when Grace rode with me at Conrad Meadows.
Again, we pretty much rode until sunset.
I am very lucky to have a horse that I feel confident putting my precious girl on. I hope the horses bring as much to her life as they brought to mine!