Baby's First Step
I got on Bella last night. She's been such a willing little lady all week and I had complete confidence in her last night, so I saddled her and then stepped up on top. Well, to be more exact, I had decided to put her saddle on as I was driving out to see her. She had been out all day in the desert with some of the others and so had whatever attitude already bucked out of her. As I led her out of her stall she just followed along sweetly so I took her all the way out to my car (no use schlepping my saddle into the barnyard.) I had her little bucket in the back of the car and she always knows that. I let her have her bucket and just started saddling her right there, next to the car, not tied up. That was fine, she hardly noticed. Then, Diane (the barn owner) came out of her house and laughingly asked what was I thinking, and then said she'd get on her. I just replied that if she had had enough to drink, she was welcome. She hadn't had a thing to drink but was certain that Bella would be wonderful. So, she came over and we got the cinch nicely snug. I took Bella's almost finished bucket away so she could focus, and Diane put some weight in the stirrup. Bella hardly blinked. Diane then put weight in the stirrup again and just swung on over. Bella stood still and thought about it and then asked for her bucket back. Diane got off and we hugged the baby and then I found myself back by the stirrup and I decided to do the same thing Diane had. I put my weight in the stirrup several times before going ahead and swinging on over. She stood like a statue. I talked to her and patted her all over and rubbed her neck and then got off. Maybe a 60 second first start. She was completely happy with herself and now wanted the rest of her bucket.
After a few more minutes of us fawning all over her being such a big girl we brought out the bridle and put that on her too. She took all of this like a little well-trained girl. I do need advice though, on what bit I should start her with. I have a nice big full-cheek snaffle that I've used for years, but I'd like to really protect her mouth while at the same time having that direct contact. Any choices you have started with and think works well?
So, Bella's been broke.