I know very little about breaking horses. I've read Mark Rashid's books, but his philosophy conveys total attitude more than actual methods (consider the horse, put yourself in the horse's skin, etc.). I've watched plenty of the horse-training shows on RFDTV, but I'm not usually able to execute the things I see done there, except for the most basic maneuvers. A couple of those basics, though, really worked in our favor yesterday.
Libby tried to get away from Arick when he first tried to mount her, which was no surprise. He simply persisted, holding onto her and letting her circle as he held her lead rope. Once he was on her back, she stood like a statue.
"How do you get her to move?" he asked.
"Well, when I ponied her, I made all the noises I make to Blue, since I was on him... you know, clicking my tongue, saying, 'hup', or 'come on'."
Arick clicked his tongue, pressured her sides a bit with his legs... nothing.
I have worked Libby in the round pen, not often enough, but some. I'm a novice, as I said, and I am not sure I always did the right things. But thanks to the RFD shows and advice from Adam, who boards his horses here, I have learned how to make her go forward, and turn on command in the pen (with whip in hand that is only a prop, not something I "whip" her with).
So Arick suggested I do what I always do in the round pen to get her going, when nobody is on her back.
This worked. Once she got started going forward, she understood what was being asked of her.
The other very simple thing learned from these shows was getting Libby to flex her neck when asked; this allowed Arick to be able to pull her head sideways to keep her from bucking, and also prepared her for the commands to turn.
Two simple things that made Libby's first ride successful. I'm so proud.
We won't be taking her on any long trail rides for a long, long time. She's still young and growing, and I don't want to do any damage to her.
Here's a video taken in November, showing me "ponying" Libby, and at the end, handling her feet and putting my weight briefly on her back.