Wednesday, July 30, 2008

3.5 hours with Dennis

Quick notes...

Z for 2.5. rope handling, letting her come in too close, change of direction with proper stick/rope handling, target practice with 12' line, move to 22'. Up and down hills at canter, stopping multiple times. seeking slow canter. trot down, canter up. canter circles on the incline. when creeping into the circle, ask her head back out of the circle! i was asking more for a sidepass - WRONG!

Rain at liberty - Dennis got very particular with her and her attitude changed. at the end, it was a better idea to stay with dennis then run off. when she was running off, he kept her working and didn't let her change direction for long - he would change her back immediately. her sidepass is stuck to the left.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Arena and Trail

I spent the day cleaning house and by the time my husband got home from baseball (6pm-ish), I was ready to get out of the dumb house! My daughter wanted to ride, too. Badly. So, I did my barn chores with Kendall's help and then tacked up Rain for Kendall to ride in the arena. Kendall just keeps talking about jumping. She wants to jump high jumps! Oye. So, I told her to first see if she and Rain could communicate in the arena and asked that she and Rain ride the rail for a lap. Well, Rain quickly forgot she had a rider on her back and wanted to stand with me. I left the arena and figured I'd get Z and practice some things. That didn't work out - Rain just wasn't into what Kendall was trying to get her to do. Kendall eventually got frustrated and went in the house. I didn't know how to help her and after a full weekend with her and a long ride the day before, I was a little burned out with helping her get better.

She needs her own instructor. Maybe Dennis. I'll ask him this week.

Anyway, I worked with Z on jumping the barrels and she was a total rock star! I was so impressed. I had her jumping just 1 barrel for the first time. Typically, she'll go around it or avoid it or simply refuse. Tonight, she had no issues. I haven't asked for her to do that in weeks so something must be going right for us.

With Kendall inside, I decided to take off on my own!! Whooo-hooo!! Z, Deuce and I headed out and it was already 7:45pm. I ran the first 30 mins, getting my own exercise, then hopped on Z for some trot work. We worked on trotting diagonals and were getting something nice together. I don't know if I'm supposed to change diagonals, too. Have to ask Dennis this week. We cantered some, also. I tried to ask for vertical flexion up and down some of the hills. I got off after a while and walked some more, too. It was just a nice night and I was really happy to be riding alone for the first time in a couple weeks. I love Kendall dearly, but riding alone is something I've come to really appreciate and I've been missing it.

We got home about 9:30 and it was pretty dark. Steve was starting to worry about me and came out to the barn. I was a happy girl and I was brushing my horse. I was in a much better mood than when I'd left 2 hours earlier. It's great to know Z can handle riding in the dark and it's so nice when the days are so hot to wait for evening and cooler air.

A good way to end the weekend. Tomorrow, I'll get Gemini moving around some more.

Hidden Mesa with Kendall

For the first time, I loaded up 2 horses and took Kendall to ride on a local trail. Our neighborhood trails are ok and convenient but some new scenery was in order. I was definitely watching closely and trying to head off any/all catastrophes, but Kendall was so brave and comfortable on Rain for the 8 mile ride that I was able to start relaxing finally. Together, they just did extremely well! Kendall's got Rain's grass-snatching more under control and Rain has more and more respect for Kendall on her back.

We talked the whole time and Kendall now has dreams of endurance riding with me and becoming a "Parelli Girl". With the start she has as a 7-yr-old, anything is possible. I explained to her that if she stays as engaged as she is now, I'll buy her a pony next spring. Something that can keep up just fine and allow her to play more of a role in tacking, ground work, etc... It's possible with a large horse, but at her height and Rain's 16 hands it's a little more challenging.

Kendall kept wanting to go faster and I appreciated Rain always wanting to conserve her energy! I worry some, but honestly I think they are fine together. We did some trotting but mainly walking. Kendall wants to move out, so as I get more comfortable with the two of them together we'll start moving out more. Kendall giggles when we go faster. It's adorable.

Kendall still has some concerns about the steep downhills and I trust that the more trail riding we do, the easier it will get for her.

Z and I did very well in our partnering on the trail. I just used the rope halter and tried to practice things like shoulder in, haunches in, feel with vertical flexion at the walk and trot, backwards with my seat, diagonal walk/trot... Actually, she felt softer than ever and I think I'm asking better and better. Thinking of my hands doing a circular half-halt has really helped. If I make a small circle in the air with my hands instead of going straight up, I get better results in the backup. Also, she's backing with my seat now with this new way of asking. I felt really good about our ride, our trailer loading, the whole deal. And Z is happy to come to me and be with me afterwards - an excellent sign. We'll try again for more video today when Steve gets back from baseball.

Before we left for the trail, I played with Gemini. We worked on the 7 games with the saddle on and the rear cinch pretty tight. He did buck some. He bucked less than the previous time and I could see him feeling generally constricted without bucking some of the time. He bucks well and has the energy to do it! He got a little playful with me changing directions and I really think he was having a little fun! I was, too. His sideways looked pretty good, his backup is great, we played more with squeeze and I realized we need to do that more often. After a few minutes, he could squeeze between me and fence comfortably, but we had to build to it. How interesting. I got on and rode him around in the arena. We did large figure 8's at the walk, trot and canter. His canter departs were softer and we hit the correct lead nearly every time. Using my outside leg a little farther back helps a ton. He feels calm and easy at the canter and I love to ride him. Should he be my first L3 horse? Maybe, but I'm not switching now. Z and I will be fine and Gemini will be quick to get through it after I've learned from Z. I appreciate him, though. There's a reason I have him - maybe he's going to be my amazing demo horse someday. Who knows, but I finally trust that he's chosen me and he's in my life for a reason.

After some time in the arena, I rode him down to the south pasture to talk to Steve while he was working on a 2nd shade shelter. I was curious if Gemini would be bothered by the tractor or being that far from the herd. He was calm and just fine. I'm looking forward to continuing our development together. I'm proud of him. I'm even considering taking him to Pagosa instead of Z.

I took the saddle off him, sprayed him down and took him into the arena with treats. I wanted to see if he'd go down and I wanted to be ready to reward him. Sure enough, he rolled and stayed down to eat the treats I had for him. A nice, easy beginning to a lay down trick later.

Don't actually know how I'm going to manage the Parelli course. The job situation is not working out as planned. I'm so disappointed and continuing to try to sort it out. I've got to head to Pagosa next weekend if I'm doing the August class. Otherwise, I've got to hit it in September. Hopefully, everything will fall together.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kendall and More Trail

So, I'm getting into the fitness and feeling in better shape. Kendall is also asking to ride every day. If only there were more hours in a day! Anyhoo, it was time to start letting Kendall right solo so I can go back to using that time for my own development with Z. Steve wanted to tag along, too. I'm guessing we went about 4 miles.

Rain will snatch grass if her rider isn't on top of things. So, I gave Kendall some pointers to manage that. Kendall did amazingly well. I'm soooo proud of her. She has come a long way! She also snatched some treats and put them in her pocket to give to Rain for a job well done on the trail. I led Z a bunch for exercise's sake and got on and ponied Rain and Kendall for just a little bit. Kendall still worries a bit if the hills are steep downhills. I can understand that perfectly and I always tell her to get off whenever she has a thought of getting off. I want to preserve her confidence as much as possible. I can really imagine she and I doing some endurance together next year. I'd like to see her on a smaller horse than Rain, but I'm not up for buying a horse for her right now. If she stays this interested, I'll definitely consider it.

So, I'm getting in better shape. Kendall is becoming a good little rider. But, I'm not getting horse development time. Happy to be with the horses and my daughter, but want to make sure I stay on track.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kendall Riding Z

Took Kendall for about 3 miles on Tuesday evening, leading her while she practiced her bareback riding. She's gotten really good with just a few technique changes and she's very confident now! Proud of her. She wants to trot down the hills now, which is a huge change from 2 mos. ago. All the bareback riding she's been doing lately will work wonders for her seat.

Z has been really great at these rides where Kendall gets to practice. She makes it easy for Kendall to feel good about things. Who would think a Thoroughbred/Arab would be calm enough for a 7 yr old to ride down teht rail? Thanks, Parelli.

mosquitos, ditch

5 miles with Z

I've been making a hearty effort lately to get in better physical condition, so tonight I had a few hours of dedicated horse time and I took Z on the trail. She was tacked with the rope hack and the bareback pad. I brought the stick and string and off we went. I ran for some of it and played with asking her to stay in the specific spot I wanted her. I asked her to perform the falling leaf a bunch and empasized proper and effecient use of my rope and stick (from the last lessons with Dennis). She's definitely getting soft and I've been making a very focused effort to suggest she always keep some float in the rope. I've upped this game to a place we've never gone and at times she is really doing her part. Other times, she gets her own idea about things and we have a harder time.

I rode her bareback some, but not much. I also asked for vertical collection while moving up and down the hills. I spent most of my time on the ground, though. I worked up a good sweat and played with our foundational ground skills.

I also played around with Karen R's ground techniques for teaching a horse to be more balanced. Interesting... Not sure I'm doing it right. :-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dennis and Gemini

Ground work - rocking on the teeter, hooves on everything, nice falling leaf...

Then saddle on, tight rear cinch and lots of bucking... Dennis told me to take the saddle completely off when the bucking stopped. We did that few times. Gemini really bucked hard and often! So, I was doing lots of saddle on, saddle off. After a while, my horse realized that bucking was a lot of work and the saddle hadn't killed him yet. He decided maybe he'd get with the program. We went in the round pen and developed his change of direction some and the send on the circle. The allow was there, but Gemini was certain the door wasn't open. Dennis took him for a bit and played with him. It helps his hip to get in there with a horse and it helps my horse to have more skill on the end of his rope.

Dennis was trying to get me to use my stick and rope better on teh change of direction. I need to reach over, grab the rope and at the same time pass the stick UNDER which helps me to push the hind end away and have it ready to send the horse the other direction. It takes coordination and I've practiced several times since. It makes sense and is definitely prettier than what I've been doing.

Then a great riding lesson where I'm better than ever at my timing, feel, and communication with the horse. Lots of cantering and asking for a nice, soft canter depart. At first, Gemini took the wrong lead when I asked for the canter. Dennis instructed me to use the outside heel behind the girth to help him get the right lead and VOILA! , never another wrong lead. Amazing.

A great lesson with my great gelding!

Prepping for Video with Z

We played on the 45' out front and things were going ok. Practiced backup up the hill quite a bit and maintaining the requested gait on the 45 while we floated around the front pasture.

Then we played with liberty with 2 sticks in the round pen. Two sticks is a lot for Z. She gets worked up and I'm sure I'm doing too much. At one point, she broke to a trot without my asking and I went to tag her. She scurried and lost her footing and he legs slipped under the round pen rails. Dang it!!

She got a nasty cut on her leg and her feelings hurt. I was sorry - too much pressure for Z. Live and learn! I make mistakes and I get better. Just hope I don't hurt my horses while I learn. Double dang it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dome Rock

OK, this entry has nothing to do with horses. But still, I wanted to blog about it. It was a great day where I pushed myself to extremes more than I have in a while and I get such a rush out of extreme physical challenges.

We drove to Dome Rock to hike the loop. It's such a long drive, but worth it. We arrived around 2:30 and hit the trail 1o mins later. We started up Willow Creek trail, which is a long 1-2 mile section climbing nearly 1300 ft in elevation. Whew! Actually, I'm not in that bad of shape and I can hike this incline just fine. It feels good and makes me remember the days of great fitness before horses. Since horses, my physical fitness has waned. Horsebackriding is not great exercise - I don't care what anyone says. I know what great exercise is and it doesn't happen on the back of a horse.

Anyway, unfortunately I steer us down Sand Creek Trail when we should have gone down another trail that starts with an "S" just a 1/2 mile further. At the end of Sand Creek, I realize we're not where I wanted us to be. However, it's easy to take Dome Rock Trail to the southwest and get to Dome Rock. A blunder, but one that's easy to recover from.

We have to do all the switching back and forth across the creek which gets Steve in a bad mood. He's funny as hell when he gets grumpy and I tried hard not to laugh, but still had some out loud giggle moments. He doesn't like it when his feet get wet. At one point, he takes his shoes and socks off to keep them dry and crosses the river. This is where his grumbling peaks. Apparently, he feels the need to hurry his feet back in socks and shoes and his feet aren't yet dry so now his socks are a little wet and... how can I not laugh at him? I gather my composure and we keep going.

We get to the point where we can see Dome Rock and he's extremely under impressed. I should have known. To him, it's a big rock. To me, it's nature saying "I can do ANYTHING!". I love it. He thinks I'm dumb. Oh well. It gives him a little time to get his feet more dry by ripping off his socks and shoes and soaking up some sun.

Then, we head back. It's another 4 miles to our car and my hip flexors are starting to get angry. I feel pretty good except for my hip flexors. I try to walk in a way that stretches them, but to no avail. This the challenge I like. The physical challenge of my body going "WTF?" and my brain saying "Keep going!". I haven't pushed myself like this in years and I'm having a blast.

I was pretty damn happy to see the parking lot, I have to admit. I woke up this morning with an afterglow of our hike. We hiked 11-12 miles (Tia, stop forgetting your damn GPS!) and went up and down over 1300 ft of elevation. We saw wildlife and even got the chance to herd some cattle. Cows on the trail, you say? I have no idea, but they were on the trail and in our way. I have video and pics of that as evidence.

Steve and I had some great conversation and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. I'd do it again in a New York minute. Next time, with horses. And my GPS.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Steve on the Trail?!

Wow. Now I know that I can do anything! I got my husband to take a trail ride with me! Actually, he remembered telling me that he'd take a ride with me for our anniversary weekend when the kids were gone. I don't remember that, but of course, I kept my mouth shut. So today, I loaded up my 2 mares and we headed to Indian Creek. It was a hot day and that made the treed trail in the foothills an even nicer getaway. We were out about 3 hours with a 20 min break to eat sandwhiches. We hiked about an hour of it, too (which I love doing).

Steve seemed to go ok. At the end of the ride, he noticed his lower back being a little stiff. Other than that, things went quite well. At the end he said, "That wasn't so bad". Hmmm... "wasn't so bad"... as in, let's do it again? Or, I survived and now I'll never mount a horse again? I decided not to push the clarification of his statement and see where things go next. I enjoyed myself and we rode in silence a lot. I realize I really like that and have grown very accustomed to it with all the solo riding I do these days.

Alas, we have no evidence. The camera turned out to be housing dead batteries and once we got to the trailhead, neither one of us really wanted to load up and head out for a battery run. I know it happened and although pictures would have been so nice, I'm just glad for the memory of it.

I spent some time building more of a soft feel with Z by asking her to take full contact and then go back to casual repeatedly. She now doesn't hesitate at all when I ask for contact which is a great improvement. She does well now when I ask for collection up and down hills. Trail rides are so good for practicing that kind of thing. They aren't bored by the arena and Z is genuinely more cooperative on the trail than in the arena.

Good day with horses and my husband!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dennis - July 15th

It was a much better lesson than the week prior. Z and I were much better together, I was much better for her and she was in a much better place. We've had some good times of undemanding time, ground driving, teaching to bow, and better riding and today with Dennis we put it all together nicely. I was really glad, the hard lessons stick with me and although I wasn't beating myself up so much, I like to end a lesson feeling like a winner - which I didn't last week.

We worked on doing things at a walk and trot and did not do any canter exercises. Our qtr turns on the haunches were much better, we rode the rail better than ever and I was using the casual rein correctly.

I used the cradle bridle for the first time with Dennis and I'll try it again next lesson.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Something New on the Trail

Tonight, with Steve and Delaney off to Karate with Kyle in tow to job-hunt, Kendall and I decided to hit the trail. I needed exercise so I put Kendall on Zarah with the bareback pad and brought an extra 22' so that we could practice ground driving. Kendall is making huge strides getting over her fears on the horses. For some reason, when she turned 6 she was all of sudden worried about getting hurt. She's slowly coming around and today she rode Z bareback for 5 miles! I was very proud of her - lots of steep ups and downs, trees to duck under, obstacles to maneuver... Big deal for her.

About 2 miles in, I added the 22' to Z's halter and started trying to ground drive with Kendall on her back. That didn't work so well as I needed the ability to throw the ropes over Z's back and Kendall was in the way. I had Kendall hop off while I got Z going with the ground driving. After about 1/4 mile, we had it going and I put Kendall back on. She really enjoyed being on Z's back while I ground drove! It was cute.

Anyway, all in all a great time! I got a 5 mile hike up and down hills, Kendall gained a ton of confidence riding bareback on an Anglo-Arab on the trail and Z got time to eat some grass and hit the trail w/o the pressure of me on her back. I loved it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dressage Naturally

I received the Dressage Naturally book today written by Karen Rohlf. A lot of the L3 Finess riding is very much like dressage and I wanted to read what Karen Rohlf would have to say on the subject. She is a fluid rider and demonstrates a ton of harmony with her horses. She is a fabulous person to learn from.

I read about 15 pages while sitting in the stall with Z. It was a hot day and most of the horses where hanging in the barn in the shade, staying cool. I put a chair in the stall and she seemed genuinely interested in my presence. She fitzed and futzed with me for a solid 30 mins. She tried to explain where I should scratch her, she fiddled with the arm rest on the chair, she smelled and nuzzled nearly every inch of me, and at one point she even reached behind me, grabbed my shirt and tried to pull it straight up. I was suprised by her gregarious behavior. She's typically very serious and she showed me that she has a playful side. Good fun. After a while, she allowed me to quietly read and I instantly was drawn into the reading.

One thing that stuck out: Karen talks about the Parelli program quite a bit and tries to explain natural horsemanship and how to bridge the gap between NH and dressage. She lists some criteria for natural dressage. One thing she lists is the fact that you have to be willing to put your relationship with your FIRST. Now, I know this. It's a critical piece of the Parelli program. However, I realized for even just a moment that maybe I don't ALWAYS do that. I'm human, after all. Though, I can continue to focus on putting the relationship first and catch myself when I'm missing the boat.

I was inspired to go try some things and focus on feeling my horse. We worked on pushing passenger at the trot and canter. We played with the backup and being soft. We did some canter yo-yos and some point to point. I rode with my IPOD which makes a huge difference to me as a rider. I just work better with music in my ears. I got off and did a little Liberty work with her in the arena. A couple times she split and we really haven't much Liberty in such a large space, but she gave me an opportunity to give her a reason to stay close to me. After we played a bit I asked her to stay with me while I got rid of the random manure piles in the arena.

It was a good time with her. I was very conscientious of her state of mind and her desires. I tried really hard to NOT think like a predator. Yay for me.

Quick Playtime with Z

Busy freakin day, as usual. I took Nancy to Indian Creek for her first trail ride with Capaill. I enjoy Indian Creek and consider it one of the best rides around. It was going to be a big ride for Nancy and it seemed like the best place to go. It was a fantastic day, not too hot and things went fine. I ended spending most of my time on Nancy's horse and her saddle wasn't a good deal for me. However, I enjoy just being with the horses outside and on a trail in beautiful Colorado.

After unloading and spending a bit of time with the kids, I managed to spend about 40 mins with Z on the 45. She was much better than usual about maintaining the trot up and down the hills. She typically breaks into canter and we've been working on her maintaining gait on the 45. That's been going better. Her back up up the hill is better and lighter and more responsive. We also worked on floating around the front pasture. At the end, we worked on the bow in the round pen. I constantly struggle (as we all do, I'm sure) with knowing when I'm being too hard or too soft. I decided to ask with a little more pressure than I have in the past and her knee touched the ground for the first time. That was a big step. Whoo-hooo!

We'll work on that much more over the coming weeks and try to finally wrap it up. We also did just a little stick to me as I try to be sure that our draw stays in tact. A good, short session with my mare.

Lesson with Dennis - Wed, 7/9

Wow - tough lesson! Not sure why... Maybe I was trying too hard. Z and I were struggling together and I wasn't responding well. We worked on straightness, point to point - lots of facing into the corner and making the corner more sweet. She became more and more against the bit throughout the lesson and Dennis hopped in and felt things and taught me for a bit from her back. He's never done that and it was interesting. Z tends to back up crooked and he was trying to stress to me how I have to be sure she realizes that's NOT the answer. We worked on canter departs and got some very soft, nice ones! That was a good thing.

The good, no the GREAT thing about Dennis is that he tries to keep me from beating myself up. I appreciate him trying to preserve my self-esteem in this journey. Z is a difficult horse in that she tells me w/o question when I'm not being good to her or harmonizing with her. I even asked Dennis about switching horses and he explained that she's a good horse because she doesn't let me be sloppy. She forces me to be my best for her and he thinks I should appreciate that and be glad. I know he's right, and I'm glad we had the discussion.

He also thought our groundwork looked a little better. He thought her expression was the best it's looked and we were working nicely together. yay!!

I really think Dennis is a fantastic teacher for me and looking forward to seeing him again this week. I make great strides with his mentoring and I don't feel like a dink when the lesson is over.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Gemini's Wound...

Dang it. It's not healing too well. The stitches are not holding. I took the bandage off to clean things up and... GROSS! I had to soak it with water to get the bandage to come off. It was literally casted on. It's also growing a good amount of proud flesh. Grrrrr! So, we're in for a rough month of getting that wound to heal. I'm so disappointed.

Also, got my pics back from the Parelli course with Coco. Some good ones...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Teaching with Z

Yesterday, I was helping someone work on their L1 skills and I used Z to teach the mounted pieces. She's gotten so soft and she's so nicely collected that I feel very proud to demo with her. We worked on mounted yo-yos, which are so useful for teaching straightness and impulsion. We've come very far together. I didn't work on anything new with her, but I really want to work this weekend on getting more video done. Ugh - gotta stop talking about it and get it done!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekend at Grand Lake

Had a fantastic weekend with some friends and horses at the Winding River Resort in Grand Lake. I took Z and Rain. I wanted to take Gemini, but his leg wound made that impossible. I was able to take Kyle on 2 long rides and Delaney on one. Kendall, Brook and Lilly all got a nice long ride with Kyle, Marcy and I leading the horses. I rode a couple times with Dave as well. We took some great pics.

The grass was so green there and I took my horses to graze often. I like to listen to them munching on green grass. We also crossed a huge, deep river on ever trail ride and I wish I had pics of that! My shoes got wet each time.

My horses were kept a little far away, behind the ranch barn and I didn't like that so much. They did ok, but I kept them tied to the trailer near our cabin more often than in their paddock. They both did very well and managed the trail riding beautifully. I tried some new boots on Z, the Cavello's. They were great on the front, but rubbed the back pasterns quite a bit. There's a sleeve I can use to keep them from rubbing and I'll try that next. They are definitely much easier to get on and off, which was a welcome change and they seemed to stay on ok in mud and water. I'm keeping my mind open. I do really like the EasyBoot Bares, but they are difficult to get on and off Z's back feet, where she can be a little defensive and unwilling.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More Night Riding

With all the horse chores I have these days, I have to be careful not to put off riding too long. Otherwise, I end up riding in the dark! Like tonight... I left the house around 8pm. Yeah, summer is here and days are long but 90 mins just isn't enough time on the trail. I just took Z out and planned to bring Duece only, but somehow Kahli decided she wanted to come too. I was surprised she found us because we cantered away. Kahli caught us about a mile down the trail. She was cute, but her legs can't support the long trail rides I do. So, I only did a 5 mile ride at a walk pace. Z and I worked on half-passing, stopping and backing, and a nice fast walk. There's always something to practice, so I didn't mind going slow for Kahli.

I got off and ran for about 20 mins and Z did a great job of keeping the line loose and slowing down or speeding up with me. I was also so happy because I found my sunglasses from the Gemini accident trail ride 2 days ago! Yay!!

Our half-pass is going nicely. We will start working on it in the arena at the trot. It's easier on the trail where she has her druthers, but in the arena we have to be more disciplined. Things are less interesting, so I have to keep her motivated. We also need to start working on the counter-arc. This week, I want to start really practicing great circles. I'll get some of my small cones out and start building the circle to the canter. That will be critical for us for some of the other tasks. I'm also thinking to put a poster up for myself with the tasks that need to be together and the ones that can be single. Maybe I can send in a single once in a while. :-) Gotta keep submitting! Time for another video to make it's way to Pagosa.

A nice walk...

Like always, I work on maintaining the balance between leader and partner with Z. Today, I decided to take her for a nice walk. It was the perfect opportunity to spend time with Kendall, help her build her bravery and let Z relax and eat some good trail vegetation. I also got a chance to move my butt and exercise! Everybody wins.

We were out for about an hour and Kendall wanted to use the bareback pad. I was glad because that means she's getting brave again. There are so many hills on our trails and when she rides bareback, she gets the chance to really feel of the horse and build her seat and balance. In the beginning, the downhills made her nervous. By the time we were coming home though, she was completely confident and carefree going downhill. I was very pleased to see a nice change in her!

Z was so well behaved and quite unflappable as we passed the husky breeding property, other horses, the dragging 45' line (want it softer!) and our crazy trail dogs going in every direction. She got to stop and eat multiple times and she was enjoying the calm, easy walk. Kendall of course, didn't want to get off and asked if we could go again the next day!

When we got home, I spent about 20 mins working on a straight back up on the 45' and then some more in the round pen. I'm building up to reshoot the Liberty tasks of sending to the right at a trot. I want our backup soft and easy and I want her to send to the right without hesitation. I also played a little will the bow today. We haven't done that in a while. She's going lower, but I will keep working on building her trust and accepting the littlest tries. We're working well together!