I did something fantastic yesterday: I rode Violet for the first time since my concussion, which, ironically, happened three months ago today. During those three months I've been doing lots and lots of groundwork and round-pen work with Violet, and got all the way up to putting my foot in the stirrup but never actually getting on. So yesterday, I caught Violet, did RP work, put the saddle on, did more RP, put the bridle on, did more RP...and then asked Mom to come over and hold her for me. Even with Mom there I couldn't seem to screw up the courage to swing up into the saddle, so after I dithered around for a while Mom asked if she could get on instead. By that point I was mad at myself (but still scared to death to get on) so I was getting kind of teary...so Mom went ahead and got on. The moment Mom sat down Violet started yawning. *rolls eyes* She yawned the whole time we walked around the RP, and after a couple of passes I finally decided that I was being silly and, with a smart slap to my fear I got on.
I was still apprehensive, so Mom led Violet around for me until I kind of got my bearings. Then, once I was all right with just walking around I worked on hips-over and walking forward (for the uninformed: hips-over is just where you pull the horse's head to the side and hold it there until they step over with the hind legs. It's very effective for teaching a horse to listen to the bridle, stop, steer, etc). After riding Colletta so much, Violet seems very skinny and the English saddle seems very small and unsafe compared to a Western. There's nothing to hold on to! It just feels weird! Oy. BUT, this is a pretty big step to not being afraid to ride Violet, so I am really happy that I finally rode Violet and without any major fuss from either of us.