Queen had her second backed ride today. Admittedly, there were parts of this scenario that were ill advised. A friend who was planning to ride with me was supposed to have both Queen and Classy Lady up and groomed so that we could hop on when I got there and get some work done before dark, but she hadn't even caught them yet when I pulled in. I said, "Eh, ok."
So we got them groomed and we got them tacked, and Queen made it apparent that she was antsy. Classy Lady was being a bit fussy as well. Still, we managed to get finished before dark, but it was getting kind of close.
Classy Lady was ok for mounting. Queen initially gave some objection when I tightened her girth again before mounting, but after a small correction, she let me get mounted. We walked around in circles in the front yard for a bit. So far so good.
Classy Lady proceeds to stumble and fall to her knees after one of the cats streaked across the yard in front of her. My friend let out a shriek from the surprise, and Classy Lady scrambled to recover while Queen went a little sideways from the movement and from my friend's loud shriek. I stayed put in the saddle, and Queen didn't go far. She didn't tremble either. Lots of praise for the black filly :)
After Classy Lady recovered some, we managed to collect ourselves and walk down the road a little while continuing to be ponied. Queen got a little tense at one point, but she settled fairly well. We went halfway to the next driveway down the road, then turned around. I dismounted and gave her some praise.
After lunging Queen for a few rotations in each direction, we repeated the jaunt down the road, this time with me walking next to her and my friend continuing to pony her off of Classy Lady. Queen was a bit more relaxed this time. I think I need to bulk up her conditioning program to strengthen her and balance her a bit so she's strong enough to carry weight. I'm not super heavy and my saddle isn't either, but she'd benefit from a stronger topline and better balance in her gaits.
Still, all in all, a very successful 2nd time under saddle! We will continue to do rides, but I definitely need boots for both Classy Lady and Queen. Time to get these kids trimmed properly and measured for some nice ones.