Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I Rode a Mule!

 Tuesday at Laura's, I helped with getting thins ready for spring and the coming show season. Come spring, things will be a lot more busy, with Laura rising as many as five horses/mules per day, so i will help a lot with warming up by lungeing and cooling off by riding.

 Also, I am able to get Dyna to come to me more quickly without much difficulty. When she was close to me, I rewarded her by petting her, letting her know that it feels good to be by me. Laura doesn't reward everything with treats, but because Dyna doesn't get pushy about it, and since it would help her learn more quickly that being with me feels good, she let me use some. She wanted me to encourage Dyna to come even closer. I asked her to come the way I had before, then showed Dyna a treat. Dyna was a bit cautious(remember it takes her a while to get used to strangers), but I got her to take several steps into me space. She was close enough I could touch her if I reached my arm out. The next day, she came a bit closer. We are certainly making progress on getting to know and trust each other.
The cute BB.

 Wednesday, I rode a mule for the first time! I rode Laura's 1st Level mule, a mare named BB! Since BB has a forward, rhythmic walk, where her body swings, Laura let me ride BB to feel what that felt like. I rode her on a loose rein, at the walk. This was also a great time to work on my equitation because I didn't need to worry about getting a forward, balanced walk. I was also riding without stirrups. I focused on getting my leg long, my body tall, my elbows bent, and hands close together. I also let my hips move with the rhythm, counting one-two as her forelegs went forward.
Cone exerciseI can go left or right after the pole.

 To work on turning with my body, I worked on riding straight over a pole, then between two cones set a distance away, turning my shoulders to get BB to turn and applying outside leg. After heading around the cone, I rode along the side of the arena. When reach the cones where I had started at, I turned around then to head over the pole again. I switched up the direction I went after the pole to change things up.

 It took some practice to get smooth. For example, I needed to think more about preparing before the turn to get it smooth, but at the end of the ride I got a nice turn. It was so fun to ride BB, the first mule I have ever ridden.
What went well:

  • I improved at turning using my body, not relying on my hands
I aslo lunged Lucky, again focusing on keeping her bent to the inside. Laura worked with her a bit too, trying to get Lucky to relax and stretch her neck. When Lucky did it well a few times, Laura ended on that good note.


  1. BB is super cute!! Sounds like a good exercise w the pole too - might need to try it w my mare to solve some of our problems w turning from my seat and legs haha

    1. She sure is cute! Yeah, it is a great exercise–good luck with it if you try it!

  2. neato! the horse i ride hates a handsy rider so we do similar exercises where it's all about body position and preparing early.

    1. So cool; we are working on the same thing!

    2. i never realized how fundamental that was until i was told to ride a lesson with zero to nearly non-existent contact! definitely proves how little the reins have to do with anything at all!

    3. It's amazing how important it is!


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