I lunged Toadie for about 40 minutes today because Trainer V. is going to start her under saddle training tomorrow and my homework was to do a lot of work with her this morning and try the saddle on her. She's had saddles on before - Western and English - since she stopped racing, but not for awhile. I couldn't believe when her old owner got there to ride her new horse I asked if she had an old saddle or bridle for Toadie that she wanted to sell and she said, "Oh, you can just have them. Although, I did take the bit from the bridle for my new horse. But I don't ride English so you can have the English saddle." That was so cool! Honestly though, my Wintec All-Purpose has an adjustable gullet so really all I need to get is a new girth and I can use that on Toad too. And I'll probably do that at least for awhile because I am so comfortable in my own saddle.
I think I *might* be getting dizzy less since I've been doing so much lunging. But it's hard to say because with Girlfriend as soon as anyone puts her on a lunge rope she starts cantering or galloping. There is no walk/trot going on. With Toad today we did a lot of walk/trot/canter transitions. Near the end she was getting irritated and had a stubborn moment. She was cantering and decided to canter in toward me and come to a stop which is not ok. Then I asked her to go back out on the circle and walk and she just stood there. I asked her politely again and tapped her gently on the butt with the stick part of the lunch whip. She just stood there. I asked her again and tapped her again and she still stood totally motionless like a statue with an expression that showed she was testing me. She wasn't frozen in fear (which has happened to her before) or so exhausted she didn't want to move, she just wanted me to know she was in charge. So, I ended up standing there tapping her butt gently with the stick part of the lunge whip saying, "I"m going to keep doing this until you walk out on the circle," and she finally gave him and walked back out on the circle.
She also had a thoroughbred moment where she kept turning in on the circle and coming to stand next to me while at a trot and finally after the fourth time as she turned to come in I cracked the whip as it pointed toward her butt to correct her and she threw her head back and ran off sideways like a bear had just jumped out at her. I told her calmly that she was fine and that she's a drama queen and reeled her back in and then she behaved really well for awhile.
I was going to lunge her with the saddle on after that but Trainer V. had a lesson in the arena with one of the kids and I don't like lunging when young, beginner kids are riding, and I think Trainer V. wouldn't want me to either. So, I put my saddle on her and just walked her around a little and took her out for some grass. She looked really pretty with my saddle on! Not that she doesn't always look pretty.
Once again, I'm hoping I can ride her. My confidence level really got shot when Rolls threw me. And I remind myself that I did ok riding Atlas-the-Mustang when he'd only been under saddle for six months and only been a domesticated for around a year. And I rode Clyde at the resort at Mt St Helens just fine and he'd only been under saddle for a year and domesticated for two years. It's not like I can't ride green horses. But my confidence is all shot and I do worry that I won't be able to ride her. Although, I'm not sure if an ex-race horse is generally easier or harder than a wild Mustang. We will see.