The other day I saddled up Rose again. We repeated the mounting exercise from last time, and this time things moved along more quickly to the point where I could hop up onto her back.
I was trying out the smaller Cashel Soft Saddle. Definitely the larger one is going to work better. With both saddles, as it would be with bareback, it's a challenge for me to maintain a good position/posture - but a beneficial challenge, I hope? I do need to work on my seat.
Rose was in heat, so she kept wanting to go over to the fence to touch noses with George and squeal a little. I let her. And in between we pottered about, but her mind was wandering.
Finally she came to a dead halt. I could not prevail upon her to move at all. As I have foresworn using a stick or other such persuasions, there we stood. Finally I dismounted, thinking that maybe she would like to be lead back to the pasture. No. She still wouldn't move.
So we stood peaceably for a while. Every few moments, Rose touched her nose ever so gently to my hand.
George and Bridget are always chivvying Rose about. "Go away." "Move." "Come along now." "Git." I honestly think she gets fed up with it and likes coming out with me because she knows I won't make her move when she doesn't want to. She can pick a spot she likes and stay there, or she can head off towards a destination of her choosing.
Part of me says, "Well, this behavior is not conducive to making her a nice mount for my husband or anyone else to go for a pleasant trail ride in the countryside. And isn't that my goal?"
On the other hand, Rose has taken people for pleasant rides - on one occasion, it was all her idea in fact. And while it would be nice for my husband to reliably be taken for a nice hack, he does do other things for fun in his life, as well as owning a pretty serviceable pair of legs of his own. While Rose never has the opportunity to be Queen of the Realm except when I take her out.
And she is always perfectly sweet and polite about wanting her own way. Very different from a horse imposing its will on another horse - I think she recognizes that she can claim self-determination as a gift, as it were.
As this is the path upon which I've placed my feet, I feel I must follow it where it leads.