I had a call from my coach on Saturday morning, with an interesting proposal. There's a very green pony at her place, a cute little appy cross. This pony has been broke to ride, let sit, rebroke to ride, let sit... Last summer they had her going again, and had her doing walk, trot, canter, and a little bit of jumping... and then she injured herself somehow out in the pasture, so badly that one of the splint bones in a hind leg was shattered and coming out of the wound. She healed up extraordinarily well and had the rest of the season off to recover, though, and seems perfectly sound now.
This pony is cute, but very green and a silly little doof. She giraffes herself in the cross ties and screams for her friends, and crowds into you, though she will listen and move over if you can get her attention. She gets antsy easily while being handled on the ground.
I tried lunging her yesterday, though that's a concept both she and I need a LOT more work on!! I'm used to round-penning Syd, with no line, which is a heck of a lot easier! Plus he's clearly been trained to do it -- or he's just caught on quite well. I don't like the lunge line because there's so much of it to have to handle, and with the whip in the other hand... and having to trying to maintain a drive line position while keeping my feet more or less planted, instead of being be able to chase the horse back out and around... ugh. She kept losing momentum and then turning in to face me, and when I'd try to push her forward, she'd turn the other direction instead... Sigh. If I'd been in a round pen I think it would have been a different story, but I wasn't. I feel like lunging and I got off on the wrong foot all those years ago at Bradbriar, and never quite made peace. :(
My saddle fit her well, which was nice to know! It's so comfy, so it's good that I'll be able to use it. My coach was kind of laughing about it. She said, Wow, do you ever sit DEEP in that saddle! Half your butt has disappeared!
The pony is a real a tool at the mounting block, which of all her quirks concerns me the most, as you're in such a vulnerable position when you're mounting up. I'll have to come up with some strategies for that.
Anyhow, she should be interesting to work with! She didn't do anything too concerning under saddle, at all; just refused to go forward at one place in the ring, and later, decided she'd rather move backward than stand at a halt. Otherwise she was pretty easy to ride around. I just walked her, as the ring is still full of ice, snow, and mud.
Oh, the proposal! I didn't mention what it was. Basically, if I can commit to two rides a week on this greenie, I'll get full access to her and to the other horses, plus free coaching as payment for my time. Pretty great!! As silly and incompetent as I felt yesterday with her -- I'm always worse when there's someone watching :/ -- it's a nice vote of confidence from my coach, that my time is valuable and that she thinks I have sufficient skill to help bring a green horse along. She's hoping the pony will be going well enough that she'll be able to use her for advanced beginner/intermediate lessons by late summer. I'm hoping I can deliver!