-my main lesson - I need to teach Gem to be more responsible! I'm holding his hand too much and he needs to advance. Carrot stick riding - we weren't ready for that and Gem's feet got "stuck". That was his introversion coming out and I found it fascinating. Sideways on the rail at the trot - Kime had me focus on the front foot and hind foot as we moved along. This helped us get a better sideways trot. Only use the Ellis technique of 180,90, 45, touch when transitioning up! For a send, it's always lead, lift, swing, touch. I was overusing Ellis' technique. I'm using too much leg on Gem. I need to stop using leg until he can respond to my seat. Did lots of cantering and bowtie practice to get the left lead. By the end, we were getting the left lead consistently. Yay!! Kime had me try some interesting techniques where I stretch my outside leg long and bring my heel down which forced my inside hip up and forward slightly. Interesting! Also fixed Gem's COD from right to left. He's been blowing through the COD, but we got it fixed with a bump and a resend. He's doing so great.
Afterwards, Gem and I rode a short trail ride with Deb and her horse. It was his first trail ride with me in a couple years. I've ponied him on the trail tons, but it was my first time on his back on the trail in a long time. The reason is simply that I've focused on developing Zarah and this past year, Tina. He hasn't gotten my time. Now that Z is getting time to hang out with the herd and Gem is my main horse, we need to get on the trail. He did well, but I realize I struggle to trust him. We'll keep working on it. After a couple miles we turned back so I could switch horses to Zarah and show her more trail.
Zarah and I moved out fast with Deb. We galloped and the horses were racing for a good stretch! That was great fun and I could feel Z pulling for the lead. Once we got deeper onto the trail, Z and I moved into an extended trot and just really moved out. It was great and she was forward and fun. A couple times she kicked out (maybe at Deuce?) and made me laugh. She's such a spitfire. We walked the last 1/2 mile home and Z was happy to walk - she'd worked hard the whole ride. That's exactly what a long horse like Z needs. She needs to move enough that she enjoys walking.
Handled Reka with guests, she was a little more wary with new people. This was interesting to see as she's so friendly with me now. Actually, when I muck her run she stands with me the entire time and I scratch her back and rump with my rake. She loves that! With new people in her run, she was unsettled and wouldn't come close. I hung around until she got a little more confident. She's such a darling little filly.