Sunday, August 28, 2011

Playing with Gem and Deb!

Building up communication from Zone 5! That's the name of the game now and I'm ready to start focusing on Level 4. Deb and I sat down with the self-assessment checklist and decided to get started on playing with the level 4 list.

We started with stick to me and Gem was really responsive! I started in zone 3 and tried to move back to zone 5. I taught him to follow my feel and focus and turn when I turned. He really learned quickly and he seemed to enjoy the puzzle of figuring out what I was asking for. What a blast!

We then did the flank rope and Gem did lots of bucking. OK - looks like we have to work on this one. He did start to feel comfortable with the flank rope and we found a good place to quit. However, we need several more sessions of this.

We practiced with bridleless riding in the arena. The more I ride him, the more we build up the feel and prepare for bridleless. He actually felt pretty good about my body for direction and I think I could work up to freestyle L4 pretty quickly. I trust him more than ever and that's the hardest part about liberty in my opinion.

Then, rode Z with the Barefoot just around the playground. Shimmed the Barefoot (Thanks to Christy Hawes for the suggestion!). Definitely put me in a more secure spot. I like the saddle, just need to get more used to it.

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