Friday, June 13, 2008

Finesse Riding with Z

This was the first day I could go and practice all the great things I learned from Terry. We practiced riding collected and teaching Z to use her hind end. We practiced point to point and maintaining straightness (sometimes, right into the fence). We worked on soft canter departs - they are getting so much better and softer! We practiced circles and serpentines. Then, we rode with 2 sticks and practiced making the barrel sweeter and sweeter. If she could circle without correction, she got to rest and eat a treat. Big changes there. We played with riding the rail and maintaining gate. Then, I took off her saddle and we rode bareback a bit. I can sit the trot better and better. I honestly think she moves differently when I'm bareback.

I asked for her to move collected quite a bit at first and I felt her really change. I know she's the kind of horse that likes her hand held and I honestly think she prefers to be ridden that way. No ear pinning, no bad vibes, no snarly attitude. She's learning to give to the bit and feel of me. Her lateral-vertical-lateral is very nice! Big changes in the last 4-6 weeks. I'm amazed at the leap in skill and partnership we've done. I called her from across the arena and she came. She has more respect for me lately and my leadership has improved. She tells me so.

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