Just cutouts - DE told a great story about meeting bears on the trail while riding on a ridge. He dealt with it by continually telling himself that the bears were just cardboard cut-outs. He knew if he kept himself calm, his horses would stay calm. It was a cute story but very clearly about our emotional fitness and what we have to do to maintain calm control of ourselves and our horses.
How he met Pat - interesting story of seeing Pat at a fair and Pat showing his stuff. Dave repeatedly asked Pat how he trained his horse to do that. Pat would answer every time that the horse already knows how to do these things. Eventually, DE ends up with his horse getting a lesson from Pat as his horse is a run-away. Pat tells him to let the reins go and let the horse run. Dave does and the horse stops running. Dave has been studying and learning from Pat every since. Pretty cool.
Keep porky light - don't let my horse get me doing more! I know this, do I always do it though? No. Keep practicing on finding this with my horses.
Played game of focus in round pen. This was cool with Z and I working on the "laser beam" for transitions. I pointed my stick at the wall of the pen and each time she ran through it, I walked in a slightly larger circle from center. Eventually, she'd see the stick was in her way and transition down. Over time, she will learn that when I lift the stick, it's time to transition down.
Worked on timing and release from porky game.
Precision patterns with circles going through the intersections and midpoints. This was a hard session for me. My brain was bored. I needed music or something. I struggle with precision patterns in the arena. Z, however, did very well and seemed to enjoy the repitition! How interesting...
Got the very best canter walk transitions I've ever gotten. After a while, I was getting the softest and most beautiful halt-canter transitions I've ever gotten from Z. She was responsive and I simply leaned back a little for the canter and lightly sat down for the down transition. Wow! I enjoyed that riding immensely. I could get use to dressage, perhaps. Z got supple and round. She was on her hind and ready for the transitions. Her canter was the softest I've ever ridden. Just Brilliant.
Ponied tina around track and hills. We were gone for quite a while cantering up and down hills, around trees in patterns, over obstacles. Tina is a great pony horse now and Z was learning to have a pony horse by her side. Z doesn't like it, but Tina did her job well. I was having a great time working with these two great horses, getting them more fit and exercising their brains by changing the pattern or game often.
A great day!