Elizabeth Bailor Dressage and Personal Training

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Posted by Elizabeth Bailor on January 28, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Yesterday I got on Sadie for the first time. Well, my first time, I was told that she'd done some light trail riding in the past, but I was also told she trailered fine... and technically she had been loaded INTO a trailer fine, but the trailer had never actually moved. So I'm taking all information given with a grain of salt. I didn't want to get on her without someone there with me, because I'm not looking to get hurt again. So yesterday was the first day that Tom had time to come over and hold her for me while I got on. It was pretty anticlimactic. She really didn't care. She was more interested in Tom and the fact that he really doesn't know how to lead a horse, and Clare who was taking pictures with the cell phone that was making funny noises, than the fact that I was on her back.


I think Sadie's been wondering why I've been doing all this silly ground work with her. Two days ago when I was going through my drill of lunging under saddle, followed by jumping around like an idiot on the mounting block, followed by incessant rump patting, followed by a succession of laying over her back- she actually turned around and pushed my butt with her nose and nickered-as if to say, "You don't seem to know how to get up, can I help you so that we can just get on with this?".


I'm a little weirded out because they just rode her in her halter and that's not something I generally do with horses I don't know well. In her defense, the girl who rode her had raised her from a baby and so didn't see any reason to put a bridle on her...  I've been getting Sadie used to having a bit in her mouth, she's lunging with the bridle on now with the halter over it, but it's going to be a couple more weeks before I can touch the bridle and have it mean anything to her, so I'm going to be riding her in her halter too. I realize that the bridle is really just an illusion of control. The real control comes from the training and trust in the realtionship and has not much to do with the little bit in her mouth. But I'm more attached to my illusions than I'd like to admit!


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