Had my great friend Jess come out today and play horsetime with me. Had a very productive day!
Started with Tina... played with some new natural dressage groundwork I'm learning from Karen Rohlf. I'm watching Karen's videos and trying new techniques in "Conversations with Energy". I am loving this stuff! It's amazing how tuned in Tina is to me and how easy it is to get her flowing with my energy. We did some of our cool obstacle stuff like strattling the two pedestals, teetering on the teeter totter, and jumping the barrels. Then I hopped on and had one of the best rides on her I've ever had.
Her confidence has soared. She's actually offering some leadership and trying to take over a bit in our riding sessions. This makes me so happy. Today, as I asked her to move with energy, she gave me some of the most beautiful trotting to ride. Wow. She was moving freely from behind and getting some amazing elevation in the front. I felt a moment of suspension with this powerful trot. Such a great feeling! We practiced more leg yielding - which is much easier on the fore than on the hind. We'll keep building the yield on the hind. Just a great session with this amazing horse.
Then, I played with M. I tried some of the new dressage groundwork with him and he did quite well. I also played with sideways, obstacles, circle game, and backing. He's giving lots of try and I'm so pleased with his new attitude about humans. Jess visited with him and he didn't offer to bite or get dominant. His respect for humans is so much better - makes him safer and will help him get along better in life. We also played with stick to me a bit where I ask him to trot when I trot, walk when I walk, or halt when I halt - all from zone 2. We'll play with this some more as it was a new concept. The 6th time, he halted when I did and we quit there. Big improvement from where he started.
I then played with Gem. I didn't tack him up, but we played a few mins on energy and then Jess and I took the horses for a walk. Jess is retraining an OTTB and she decided not to hop on him today. Her horse seemed introverted so a walk seemed like a good idea to get his feet moving w/o a lot of pressure. He did seem better as we just walked and Gem never once called for home. Gem was perfectly content to leave the property. Once we were about 1/2 mile away, I did some circles with him and played some more with getting the trot I wanted from the ground. I'm enjoying the introduction to all of this dressage-focused theory and technique in natural horsemanship.
I also finished trimming Gem tonight. He didn't want to give me his left hind at all, but I'm pretty sure it was because he needed to go potty. I didn't get the left hind done as nicely as I'd like.