Wednesday, 1 October 2008

So, we returned to Santana's training in September 2008. This was when I first rode him. He is still on the lunge and learning what is expected of him. He is a little confused at first but, after a couple of weeks, he is getting used to moving forward and listening to voice commands.

We had one minor hiccup when whilst following another pony around the circle he spooked at the pony's tail swishing, lost his footing and slipped over, dumping me on the ground. We were both unhurt and unfazed and remounting, carried on but this time we kept the lead pony at a respectful distance. My first fall from my new horse!

Next stage is to come off the lunge and, being led with a rope, follow a rider on a pony. The lead pony was chosen carefully as Santana had proved not to like being flicked in the face with a tail! Billy was the obvious choice as he is a very experienced and sensible lead pony. We love Billy! Santana seemed to be quite keen on him too and followed along beside him like an old hand.

At this point we had another minor hiccup when a calf, who was in the paddock with his mother as she was being picked on by the rest of the herd, thought it would be a good idea to charge at the young horse to see what mischief he could create. Santana wasn't impressed with the naughty calf and made off at a canter in the other direction, yanking the lead rope out of the hands of Elby, my leader. This could have been potentially disastrous at this stage of his training, but I talked to him and told him to whoa and fortunately, he did. He stood still while Elby came over to us and we carried on, avoiding the mischievous calf!

The next big step is to come off lead altogether and go it alone.

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