I was able to spend a bit more time working with Jimmy on Friday. Paul had mentioned that Jimmy didn’t really care for cross ties, so I clipped the ties to the bottom ring of his halter instead of the side rings. He didn’t mind this at all. He was very sensitive to pressure on his head when he would step forward, but was happy to stand still once he found a comfortable position. It was the first time that I gave him a complete grooming since he arrived on Wednesday night. He seemed very happy to be curried and brushed. He’s still shedding, so I’m sure it felt good! He did try and groom me a couple times when I was currying his shoulder, but I simply told him a quick no and he stopped.
After grooming, I tacked him up with my surcingle and fitted a bridle to him. I did have one bit that was large enough for his mouth: a D-ring french link snaffle. He stood quietly with the bridle removed and although he did shake his head up and down a couple times when I initially went to unhalter him, he quietly accepted the bridle and bit. I must say, he looked very handsome in the bridle! Next time I’ll take my camera with to get pictures of him. Overall, he was very polite and quiet while being groomed. I did find that he has a pattern to having his feet picked. LF, LR, RF, RR. I’m used to Jewel who will pick up both front feet regardless of what side you’re standing on.
Because of the glorious weather we had, I decided to lunge him outside. I also figured it would be a good opportunity to see how he would react to traffic, other horses in the pasture, people stopping by at the garage sale across the road, etc. He was so sensible. Even when tractors or motorcycles went by, he just took it all in stride.
As for actually working on the lunge, he’s pretty stiff to start out with. His hind end is fairly weak from not doing anything for the last 8 months and it takes him a while to get loosened up. I started out with the sidereins on the longest setting to allow him to just get used to them. After a few minutes and traveling both directions, I shortened the reins a few wholes just to give him something to think about. He bumped against them a few times, but then relaxed nicely into them and eventually softened his poll and dropped his head. Considering this is probably the first time he ever worked in sidereins, I was very please with him. We worked most at the trot for about 10 minutes in each direction.
Our next lesson will be getting him used to the mounting block. I’m excited to get on him too. 🙂