14 rides

Jake now has 14 rides under his cinch, so to speak. I only get on him when someone is around so that's kept it slow. We've done walk and trot so far, a bit of turn on the forehand, working on transitions and steering, putting in about 20 minutes in the saddle each time.
I usually longe or ground drive before i get on, using ground driving to practice steering and longing to practice transitions and get him cantering under tack.
He's only had one day when I said to myself, "I don't want to ride that." So I didn't. I don't know what got into him but he does have his moments. Fortunately those interesting random athletic days are becoming less frequent. Man, can he buck! All four feet, two feet in the air - I think that's called a levade? That's just his warm up.
We've been on the trail once so far with two other horses. I led him until I could gauge his attitude, then rode until I could no longer hold my breath, then got off and led him again. He's been out there before in the bush but just ponying. It has all been good preparation.
His tenth ride was his first adventure off the farm. Last year we trailered him around the block with his big buddy Cody but until the end of May we'd never taken him anywhere. A friend decided to have a pile of us over to check out her new obstacle park and I am pleased to report that the young Jake did every obstacle - tarps, branches, backups, hills, ditches, culverts and tires - both in hand and under saddle in front of 16 other horses and riders. I'm not surprised since he's been raised around trail obstacles but I am pleased that he was so well behaved. He goes over the teeter-totter bridge at home like he was born to be a trail horse.
Last night, his 14th ride, I rode him in the bosal for the first time. I led him around in it last week and i've been riding his mother, Tatti, in it to get the feel. I like it and I have some confidence in it now. He had been grinding his teeth with the bit but he doesn't with the bosal so it's looking promising.
What's next? I'd like to ride him in the outside ring a bit more, maybe get him out on the trail. I'm in no hurry to get a canter. He's still growing and he still has to prove to me that his 'athletic moments' won't be expressed at speed. Meanwhile we'll work on getting some rhythm into his pokey walk. 
Oh, and I've been leaning over Spike, dreaming...:)

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