Today my neighbor, Natalie, who happens to be a Grand Prix show jumper/trainer, came over and helped me work with Char for her first ride since she arrived at SAFE a week ago. We took her out and put her in the cross-ties, and she was very, very good for being tied, grooming, having her feet picked, saddling, bridling, all of it. She was patient, sweet, and very good-natured as we found a saddle that fit her (extra-wide tree of course!) and adjusted a bridle that more or less fit her (need to get a bigger bit for her but we made do for today). Her previous trainer has put a good start on Char. We put her on the lunge line first and she lunges very well, was responsive, forward, and willing to please.
She stood quietly to be mounted and stayed standing until she was asked to move forward. She really was a very good girl under saddle. Her steering is pretty rudimentary, and she’s stiff and doesn’t like to bend, and a couple of times she gave a little crow-hop when asked to turn or bend, but otherwise she was very willing. We even had her trot over a pole on the ground and after just a little hesitation was going over it quite easily. I am very pleased. We are going to have Natalie work with her a few times a week and get her a little more tuned up, but she has the makings of a great trail horse or even a nice lower-level dressage horse. Photos and a video clip: