I told Halfway he could get the day off on Sunday but when I looked at the weather forecast I knew Monday was going to be out. I decided to do a light flat ride just to stretch him out. He had been working hard so I wanted it to be short and sweet. Whitney was riding Legend and Jess brought out Junior. It is fun to ride with other people and just enjoy the nice horses we are lucky enough to ride.
I have to say that I am really pleased with the progress that Halfway is making in his flatwork. He is much softer in his body and wanting to reach into the bridle. I changed back to the rubber bit (sprenger duo) and to the regular noseband because I felt like the didn’t like the kk and figure eight. I feel like I have that left side SO much softer! We continue to work on that left bend but it is drastically improved in such a short time.
I have started to ask him to have an organized canter transition. This is HARD for him. We have little bucks going into the transitions especially the left when I tell him he must bend around the left leg and pick up that left lead. This is totally normal and does go away. You can’t make a big deal out of it at this stage and truly he is collecting himself when he is doing this little buck. It is his way of making it easier on himself which is just fine. The left canter is harder for him to pick up but his easier lead. The right lead is much harder for him to engage on so he does some little hops when I encourage him to step under himself.
The great news is that there is adjustability. He is listening to the half halts and I can go forward and back with just an adjustment of my body and a close of the fingers. This is all very important for the jumping but you just have to do it slowly. I am very aware that the work is hard and that they can get tired, sore and cranky. You have to do a little bit and then back off. Slowly building them up so you don’t put to much mental or physical pressure on them.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy riding this horse. He just tries so hard to please and he is a fun ride. He gets better every single ride.