I am anxious to finally start progressing with Bear. I have been repeating the same lesson since last April because I haven’t been consistent enough! In May he was a super star, way beyond my expectations. He was balanced and responsive at the walk, trot, and canter even on a circle. Then he had three months off. September we started again, and by October he was pretty comfortable trotting again. Then he had November and December with hardly any work. So we’re back to balancing. He’s got forward, that’s good! But then he just gets more forward and starts falling forward. This make his feet quicken to catch up, and takes away all hopes of steering since his shoulders are just trying to keep everyone upright, and he starts diving in on the circles to catch his balance.
So we’re back to the same exercise. Walk-whoa every half to quarter of a circle, then trot-walk every half circle. By the end he’s anticipating the downward transition and holds himself upright more in order to be prepared to stop. He has a more collected gait, he is carrying more weight in the back, and he is listening. I forget how simple the fixes can be when you break it down to a simple exercise that the horse can feel confident in doing well, and something that doesn’t get me over-thinking and screwing it all up!
I had my mom ride Bear for the first time tonight, and just had her do the same thing with him. It worked so well. It gave them something simple to concentrate on, and kept him balanced and working well for her. It was a huge success for him to do so well with another rider on his back. For the next few months while I have this project horse he’ll have quite a few other people riding him since I’ll be on the mare, so I really want them to be safe and for him to still have a positive step forward in his training each time. So tonight was a good sign.