I hope to finish up the photos and blogging the rest of the weekend (it's not over just because you reach the finish line!), but first...
I went out to see Trigger last night, and SweetPea was headed out from her house with one of her horses, Storm, who's going to spend the rest of the summer on a nice pasture in a different part of town, and I texted her to see if she was coming over, and she said she would just bring Storm by on her way, so that's what happened. We decided not to bother getting Storm out of the trailer, and just ride Trigger right there on the property. We got him tacked up, I lunged him a bit, and SweetPea got on first for me. She's so nice that way. (Don't pay any attention to her form--the stirrups were way too long for her, and we didn't bother adjusting them.)
Then I got on, and rode him both directions, walk and trot, and halted and backed a time or two. No antics, just a plodding horse. He was probably bored out of his mind, frankly. I had butterflies in my tummy, but was a lot less nervous than the last time.
Once I felt pretty comfortable, I asked SweetPea to open the gate and let us out into the big wide world. There is a wooden "bridge" at the entrance to the roundpen, but Trigger's been over it a ton of times and doesn't care, so I wasn't worried about that. My only concern was him trying to eat the grass, since hand-grazing in that patch of grass is a pretty common reward for him. :-) He did lower his head a few times, but was a pretty good boy. I even trotted him a bit on the grass. Honestly, I was more comfortable out there, because it's probably a little better to land on the ground there than in the round pen. :-)
|And we're off...into the wild green yonder!|
After 10 minutes of happy experiences, I was ready to dismount and call it a day, but SweetPea, in her infinite wisdom, said I should take him BACK into the roundpen. So we headed that direction. I saw a rubber ball there that wasn't one Trigger had played with before and wondered aloud whether he would be curious and/or bothered by it. I don't know whether he sensed that, would have been curious about it anyway, or if it wasn't even the ball but was just entering the roundpen again that he didn't like (probably the latter), but he didn't want to go in. If it had been prior to the bucking incident, I would have swatted him and made him go on into the roundpen, but any anomaly in his gait or how his back feels under me has me nervous, so I didn't like him dancing and prancing around to avoid going into the gate. I'd circle him around and come back, and he'd still prance a bit. Finally SweetPea got sick of it and just grabbed the halter and he walked right in. Sheesh!
We did a couple of circles in the roundpen, including going toward the gate and away from it, then I got off (mighty ungracefully--I really need to work out!).
After that, I followed SweetPea out to the pasture where she was taking Storm. Another horse of hers (plus a third horse belonging to a friend of hers) were already out there, and she's been telling me how much Trigger looks like Goodwin. Goodwin also has Arab and Saddlebred in his lines, though I think he's also got some Thoroughbred--I forget the exact propotions. When we arrived and I saw two chestnut horses in the field, of course I had no way ot knowing which was Goodwin. But as soon as I saw the two horses trotting, I knew instantly. The other one is a breeding stock (i.e. solid-colored) Paint, and has a typical QH/Paint gait. But Goodwin had a lovely floaty trot just like Trigger. Sure enough, closer inspection shows the same face, same curious personality, and same build (narrow!). If you painted Trigger orange, they would be twins. (Goodwin is the one with the cute tiny star, Dusty is the Paint and has a big, equally cute, blaze.)
So, that was yesterday. Today, we hit the trails!