The weather is so mild and the old arm is coming around. Things are lookin' up! I started with Miss Tina today and spent most of my day with her. I had tacked up Rio for KK to ride, but then a friend came over and she forgot all about that. I used the surcingle yet with Tina and the confidence snaffle to get her going. We practiced the soft feel first for about 30 mins. I just turned her each way and helped her get the feel of the ask. Then we went forward. It's a different feel with me in zone 5 and thankfully the surcingle helps me keep the ropes where I want them. I think another few days and I won't have to use them.
She was resistant at first, but slowly she got softer and softer until we were able to walk nice figure 8's. I also started working on backing her up, which got much better by the end of the session. I took her out to the front pasture and let her graze for a while, just wanted her to get some quiet time wearing the bit and being with me away from the herd.
When we went back to the barn, she was a whole different horse. Soft in the bridle, turning on my asks with ease and halting and backing with a slight suggestion. She's a smart horse and she learns quickly. Now, it's time to get her on the trail and exposing her to more "scary" stuff.
I then popped a saddle on Z for a quick ride before the sun went down. I decided my goal is to finish L3 Freestyle by the end of Jan. I want to mess with Z as many times a week as possible to reach this goal. I think it's a very realistic goal, too. We have to make sure her canter depart is happy and responsive, as if she puts her ears back that will show a poor relationship and an unhappy horse. I'm going to work on asking her to canter with the lightest cue I can think of to make her more attentive. Otherwise, we can do everything else pretty well. It's time to shut L3 down!! :-)
Great day. Tomorrow, Gem, Rain, Tina and Z. Need to soak Nina too.