Rosie has been doing well, gaining weight steadily, and filling out quite a bit. Taking on a rescue like her is like having a puzzle with some pieces missing and you need to figure out what they are. It's also a big gamble since horses can be pretty resilient and also pretty fragile. We had a feeling that she would do well once she started to get good nutrition. We knew very little of her history but had been told that she had been ridden recently and supposedly had been a gaming pony at one point. Craig and T groomed her and saddled her up on Monday to see how she would react. She stood like a trooper and didn't seem bothered at all. They untacked her and let her go back to eating her hay.
When we first got Jet, he had a prominent spine which combined with his high withers made fitting a saddle a challenge. We found a lightweight Simco barrel racing saddle that had short round skirts and a high port which had plenty of clearance for his withers and wouldn't jab him in the back. Combined with a thick Impact gel pad that had a wither cut out and a channel along the spine, it was a great combination. We thought this combination might work well on Rosie too, especially since the Impact gel pad distributes the saddle/rider's weight so well. Part of rehabbing her is to help build up some of the muscle she lost and make her strong. We thought that short, low key sessions (maybe 20 minutes at a time) mostly walking with a little trotting, would be good for her, maybe once or twice a week. Since T is lighter than me, I asked her if she would be the first one to ride Rosie. She has good balance and quiet hands and I thought she could handle it. Late Monday afternoon, they tacked her up and T very carefully mounted up from a mounting block. Rosie did great and seems to know the barrel and pole patterns. The head tossing you see in the video is because she had a halter on under her bridle, just in case T needed to be lead around or make a quick exit and catch her (neither was needed, thank goodness). Rosie didn't like the nose band. Next time we will try her with just the bridle.
I couldn't have asked for a better first ride (or any ride!) especially in a new environment with one of the arena doors wide open. I asked for input on her breed on a bulletin board and the general consensus judging by her conformation was some kind of gaited pony. I think that might be right on the money.