I can't even suppress my high that I got from my ride last night!! First off it was a beautiful afternoon/night - that just gives me bonus points.
I didn't know what to expect going out last night, I haven't ridden since the weekend before last (I was volunteering at a spay/neuter clinic all this past weekend). JW was great when I left him..but its been over a week (bad I know but things happen). Well first of all the horses are rotating through pastures so they had been moved which is actually kind of nice because the girls will be a little further away from our arena. Second I have to take him away to do everything (this is also very good!).
He continues to surprise me all the time. No problems walking away - I made him trot while I ran on the lead line - he kept right up with me (this is one of the things we've been working on). I groomed him like I always do - I take forever and do a little massaging which he loves. I love taking my time before a ride - I hate throwing everything on in a second and then bolting down the trail. He is usually a very patient horse he just stands at the trailer, tonight was no different. He will play with anything that I have left on the wheel well though (like my GPS...that he then stepped on...we don't leave anything expensive there any more!).
We lunged - he moved almost perfect. Moving his shoulders and his rear. He walked and was pretty laid back while we worked through the paces. I'm not sure if this is the time of the day that he gets lazy or what, but typically in the later afternoon/early evening his is perfect to ride and behaves!
Then I got out the vibrating massager I bought to simulate the clippers. This we've had problems with...he's fine with it when its off but when I turn it on, whole different story. This time I only got a high head (lost his brain!) and a few steps sideways. Improvement - I didn't take it off of him until he was standing still and had dropped his head - PERFECT!! Then we went to the other side - initially the same reaction, then calmer - I think we are finally getting somewhere! I went back to the first side - less high head and I think he actually might be starting to enjoy this! Up by the ears we go...high head, head shake - then head drop! WOW! I'm super impressed - this all took only about 15 minutes and he got a really nice full body massage out of the deal! He was even cocking his back legs by the time we were done! Can I get a HELL YA!!
Time to saddle up. That is never a problem. He takes the bit perfect (most of the time) and doesn't mind his ears being put into the bridle. Then we rode. We worked on consistency. Mostly me being consistent. 2 legs means go forward. 2 legs means go forward. A little faster now , a little slower. I'm not usually an arena person (I love being out on the trail) but there are something things better communicated in a "safe" area until they become reflex for both you and your horse - this I do believe is something to work on in an arena.
We did pretty good! He did pretty good too - I even got rear end movement without moving his front end - bonus points!! We are getting there and for the first time while riding I actually felt him raise up his back into the saddle - he was walking like a normal horse and not a freak on crack. We weren't adding energy (which is a bad thing for him) we were being sensible and thinking about what I was asking.
I think we are getting there! We'll see how he does tonight - my husband and I are going to take on the trail again. He just doesn't understand how much work I have to do to ride sometimes. JW is not a push-button horse like his mare. We will get there eventually but its going to take time and patience of which I have a lot of most of the time :)