Morning class started off with a refresher of the previous day. She did have that same meltdown leading back to the trailer before I saddled her, though. Frustrating. So much so that I didn’t even go there after the morning class was over. We also added in lead-bys between us and the fence. Lead-bys from the fence. Bumping up to the fence. Again, Mercy did better that I thought she might. We also practiced getting on and off from the ground without committing to staying on. Then, we moved to the round pen where everyone got on and worked on bending and then tossing the lead over to bend the other side. Then, we added bumping the hindquarters over with our leg. Pretty soon, we were onto moving out at a walk and working on transitions. Once the game of tag started, everyone was ripping around. I don’t recall a single horse getting bothered enough to wad up and get to bucking. Mercy did get tight, and was occasionally reluctant to move, but eventually did. She is WAY stiffer to the right and tends to really want to resist bending that way. Buck said to use more leg. Occasionally he would come in and flag a horse that was a bit stuck, but all in all it was a good ride for most folks. We ended with bending and then dismounting and unsaddling and rubbing them down. I hosed her off and put her away. Decent day and pretty decent first ride.
Since my saddle was in the arena, I decided to saddle Buena in the round pen. She’s STILL goosey and cinchy. It got a little better today. No crow-hopping, but she’s still pretty fidgety about the whole process. And my lack of strength to keep throwing the saddle up there doesn’t help. I got the job done and tied her on the high line out front during lunch. She does just fine as long as that high line isn’t bouncing around. She stood pretty quite, but did feel a little tight when I went up to rub on her hindquarters. She sucked her tail down and humped her back a bit. We did a lit of backing half circles and bringing the front across again today. Today it was mixed up with some stopping from a trot and constantly switching directions whenever Kip whistled the signal. We then rode out to re-gather the cattle from yesterday and move most of them to another pasture and then a small part of them to a pasture closer to the arena. That smaller group with be our play cows. This was a really good ride for Buena. She got to be on the leading edge of the herd we were driving and we kept them from ducking down hill too far. I worked on LOTS of easing off the cow with leg yields. When the larger group of cattle were settled in their new pasture, we headed back to meet up with the smaller group. I got some pretty nice long trotting in and she walked out pretty well most of the afternoon. The footing is pretty darn good and I have only felt her take an ouchy misstep a few times so far, usually on the hard rock roads.
Before dinner we worked on throwing more shots at the roping dummies.
I took Ch up on her offer for a hot shower at her motel. It was much appreciated and much needed. And a decent Mexican dinner with a Cadillac Margarita tasted quite good, too.