After three and a half years, I finally actually rode Cinder! And it lasted longer than ten seconds, and she never once felt like she was going to buck me off! It's amazing what having her in actual training can do.
|I don't know why she looks nervous, she didn't feel that way at all|
Trainer A rode Cinder first, in the outdoor jump arena. I set a couple fences for A and Cinder was jazzed once she realized she was going to jump. Homegirl gets a little excited for the jumpies! She's started this fun new thing of throwing her tongue out of the corner of her mouth when she's mad so we may start experimenting with a flash, or a different bit. Right now she only really does it when A asks her to wait and approach the jumps nicely instead of running at them full tilt, which is what Cinder wants to do. They were able to end on a good note with Cinder calmly approaching the jumps with her tongue inside her mouth.
A did say that she's seeing more of Rogue's personality come out in Cinder. Apparently Rogue didn't really care what lead he picked up, and was happy to counter canter or cross fire just as much as being on the correct lead. Cinder does the same thing, and A said it feels really similar to Rogue. But Cinder is also happy to throw in a flying change while Rogue wasn't. It's really nice to have a trainer that's ridden her dad and knows this is a family trait rather than a deeper issue.
For my ride we took Cinder to the indoor. I'm not going to lie, walking up the mounting block and putting my foot in the stirrup was nerve wracking. Getting bucked off on our first ride and waiting three months to get back in the saddle (on her at least) really let the nerves marinate. But I swung my leg over and after the first few steps felt completely fine. She felt loose and relaxed, not at all like she was going to launch me.
I was happy to just bop around on a loose rein, but A reminded me that Cinder does actually know stuff, and to ride her like a trained horse. So I picked up some contact and put my leg on. She feels like a baby; steering is a bit iffy, she ping pongs off your aids, and is a bit stiff. But she did try to figure out what I was asking her to do, and was happy to go around for me.
We did a little trot each direction and she felt pretty even in both reins. Her trot is really comfortable, and I did a little sitting trot at the end and it was so easy. She didn't feel that big to me either, which was nice. She's 16.3, while Peebs is maybe 15.1 on a good day, but that extra 6 inches didn't really matter. . She felt longer than Peebs, especially in the neck. She is a bit like riding a 2x4 but she's still got a lot of filling out to do.
I know I had a huge grin on the entire time and on the drive back home. I hoping in April I can start swapping out one trainer ride per week for a lesson and can start to ride her consistently. I have decided to keep her with A for longer than I originally thought, bringing her home maybe in June/July. Money will be tight, but paying for the training now will only help us out in the long term. I can't believe the progress she's made in three months with A, and having there another three months will only make her better.