I had another lesson today. I missed last week due to Faith being sick and since I had to reschedule all of my students, it never left me time to reschedule my own lesson. It went really well and I am super happy with my progress. It was really windy today and there were a lot of distractions but both Rebel and I were focused and ready to work. I successfully had him soft and round and correctly bent and flexed for about 90% of my lesson. I am still struggling with keeping my contact through my up transitions and I lose him for a minute and have to get him back...but I'm getting him back A LOT faster. I've learned to just drive him forward into my hand instead of worrying so much about his head. I also struggle keeping the bend coming out of a 20 meter circle and going straight and we end up rushing around like and looking like a giraffe halfway down the long side. I finally got several good transitions (not as many good as bad, but we are getting there) towards the end and held him correctly out of the circle. I tend to have a case of the "try too hards" where I do too much instead of just letting it happen. I over think my hands in the transitions. I definitely see improvement though and Rebel is getting in better shape and had a really forward trot today that was a lot of fun. I'm having a blast and learning so much!
When I got back to the farm I had some free time and was feeling really good and motivated from my lesson so I got Johnny Cash out and started lunging him. He seemed sound and it was such a pretty day (I actually got to break out a t-shirt for a good part of the day) that I decided to see how a ride would go. So I tacked up and hopped on. We walked around until he was nice and relaxed and I started working on seeing if he would drive forward into the bit. He would! It was really great feeling! So we added in some trot. We started with a few steps at a time and rewarding him for moving off my leg and making sure he was sound. He was and was really responsive so we started going longer and longer making times around a big circle each time. He is already seeking contact and I have now learned how to be there ready for it. It's a lot lighter than Rebel who has a pretty heavy contact but there all the same. I know it'll be awhile before he's steady in his contact but I'm just thrilled that he is even offering it before. When I rode him before I rode him more like a hunter or english pleasure horse with light contact or even a loop in the rein. I wasn't sure what he would do, if he would feel claustrophobic and panic, or fight the contact (all things Pilgrim does), but he is seeking it out. It's such a great feeling. I am so excited to see how he develops. I think he's going to be AWESOME!!!
Chuck will hopefully be able to get some pics and maybe even video of him this weekend.....until then just visualize a beautiful grey Arabian working it like he owns it. While your at it, imagine him clean too =)