Well, it’s “hump day,” as people say who work Monday through Friday. But this Wednesday is actually “over the hump” day. That term came from WWII guys who were building a road through Burma to get to South East Asia. When they got to a certain place where they could see that the goal was in sight they declared themselves over The hump. Today I saw the goal in sight for two not so young mares I’m starting under saddle. Up to this point there’s been joining up in the round pen, gaining confidence, then longe work on the pole, followed by in-hand work. All this while more and more “gentlin’” or sacking out has been taking place to “despook” them so as to reduce the chance of a spook setting off a bucking spree. Now we are riding, and the first few saddles were pretty short rides, just enough to prove to them that it could be done. This ride was the one that I felt I could push them some. Both of them got to the point of lifting off into a gallop in the round pen, with no bucking. The old-timers would say “we broke the egg in them.” What they meant, and what I felt in these mares, is that they now have enough trust and confidence in me, and enough balance in themselves, to lope without getting stirred up into bucking. Now we can just “TRAIN” them.
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