Since that time he has worked on the line and had that ponying session. Yesterday, Mom was off and I wanted to try getting on him again. This time we planned ahead for maybe walking around. So we put the western saddle on and worked him on the ground first. Mom and I were really impressed that his bending had improved. He normally likes to travel with his hind end travelling inside. The day was warm and he was pretty settled. We moved onto the mounting block. I wiggled the saddle, bumped him and put weight on him. No problem. He got itchy feet and had to walk around, but the next time I was able to mount.
If you have ever sat on a baby, you know that it is like balancing on a narrow beam. Each movement feels bigger than you expect. Ember was focused on getting sugar from Mom. At one point she corrected his mouthiness, and he just lifted his head. So I picked up the reins to give his mouth something else to focus on. We asked him to walk a couple steps and then halt. At first he was following Mom who had the lead line. Then I could see him begin to recognize someone was on his back and that he maybe should listen to that person. Soon I was able to ask him to walk on, even adding a bit of leg. I used the reins to keep him from walking on top of Mom. His ears were flicking, but he was invested.
|After our ride|
In total he did about two 20m circles. He was amazing! Taking these baby steps will make starting him next year easier. We may do this a couple more times and then let him be to grow. I am a lucky person to have not one, but two Cobs that are solid citizens in the starting process.