KK and I then tacked up Rain and Z and took a short trail ride. KK wanted to ride! She hasn't wanted to for a while. So I was careful not to push her and to help her regain her riding confidence. She had a couple of bad rides and got afraid this summer. We had a nice ride and Kendall was proud of herself! I offered to pony her, but her comment was, "Mom, I really want to do this myself." Ha! Good girl!
After that, I played catching game again with Reka. An improvement, but not a big improvement this time.
I pulled Gem out to ride before Nanni arrived, but ran out of time. When Nanni arrived, she went and got Tina, we brushed her and tacked her up and then after a short warm up, we got started on a great riding session. I rode first and we played with bits a bit. I had her in the rope hack and planned to move to the bridle. Nanni wanted to see her go in a fatter bit, so I swapped my Watts snaffle bit bridle for the confidence bit I have. Tina hasn't really worn that bit much, so I decided to keep the rope hack on in case I needed to use it to talk to Tina instead of the bit. We had a lot of ropes and reins at this point, but I liked having the halter reins available. Tina did fine, though. She was feeling for the bit, finding releases by herself and just generally getting used to it. We trotted around for quite a while, maybe 30 minutes. Nanni wanted to ride then and I was glad! I took off the hack and she put some time on Tina's back asking for a strong working trot. It was so lovely to see Tina under saddle like this! I'm always on her so I don't get to see how gorgeous her movement is and her potential.
I got back on for a little more riding after that. She'd done so well and I was needing a break so we called it a day. Before putting Tina away we talked about lunging and helping Tina prepare to go home. Nanni will lunge her for warm up and I agreed to try lunging Tina and also to teach Tina "walk, trot, canter" commands. We talked about the differences between how I train horses and what Tina will need to know to be successful at Nanni's.
The three things I'll build for the next 2 months while Tina's here:
2) Riding with an aid (crop or whip)
3) Lunging with bit contact and voice commands
Then, we decided Tina's should go on home and get started on her dressage career. How exciting!!
We had dinner plans, but before that Loma wanted to see M move. M has a minor roach back forming, so watching him move was a good way to see how it's impacting him and if his future is limited due to it. M's first ground working session. I took him to the arena on the 22' and proceeded to teach him something about circling. I wasn't concerned about a send, but I was very focused on the allow. He of course, thought this made no sense and it probably took about 15 minutes before he understood that I just wanted him to go forward. His inclination was to go "Up!" - a typical LBI response. He reared several times and fell backwards once or twice. When he realized that wasn't working, he tried to leave with a strong trot away. He hit the end of the line a few times and finally he was out of ideas and started to circle me. He was worked up and his heart was thumping but he stayed very calm throughout. At the end, he came into me showing submission and allowing me a moment of leadership. What a fun, fun horse!