Changing is much the same as blowing up a balloon. It is toughest to blow the air in the balloon right at the beginning. This is how I feel riding Zum bareback. The most energy and commitment required to break away from my anxious state of mind is the first move….jumping on!


Jody wants me put a mounting block in the center of the round pen. I stand on it and then I ask Zum to stand next to it so I can jump on Zum bareback. If Zum moves around, I get firm and keep asking him to stand still next to the block. I relax, soften and pet his back when he does what I ask. Soon, Zum willingly stands where I ask him.


It takes my breath away when I ride Zum bareback! I have learned a valuable lesson….the more you fear, the more fear finds you.


Jody says split reins are safer than a continual loop rein which could get hung up on a tree or could flip over the horse’s head and get the horse caught up in it. Jody rides Zum bareback with split reins attached with snaps to Zum’s halter.


I sit bareback on Zum for the first time. I have come to realize that I have put Zum in environments that he wasn’t ready for. He couldn’t handle it. I have to put Zum and I in safe situations from now on.


As Zum stands still, I lower myself from the round pen on to his back. Zum doesn’t always stand still. Jody wants Zum to like me riding him bareback. So Jody wants me to make it Zum’s idea. If Zum stands still, it is Zum’s idea. If Zum moves, he is not ready. So I advance when Zum and I are ready. I retreat when we are not.


I ask Zum to move his hindquarters towards the round pen and he does it easily. I put my foot on his bare back and rub his back with my foot. Jody wants me to ride Zum bareback. I am slowly building my confidence one step at a time. I need to be ready and Zum needs to be ready.


Zum moves his hindquarters to the round pen after a few tries. Jody says Zum never gets to invade my space. I need to be firm with Zum first. Zum will not listen to me if I am not firm. Be firm over being kind. Kind people get used and abused. I can be kind later once I have firmly established my boundaries.


Jody climbs to the top of the round pen panel and asks Zum to move his hindquarters to the pen. Jody asks Zum and if Zum does what Jody wants, Jody relaxes. Ask and relax. Jody says that because Zum is an Arabian horse, Zum over thinks things. As an Arabian horse, Zum gets anxious and worried easily. I have to be very calm and slow with Arabian horses like Zum so he can slow down and calm down.