Pilgrim is starting his second month at the trainers. So far he is doing great and I couldn't be happier with his progress. The only negative is he will never be perfect, and will always be a challenge to ride. So after a long talk both with my trainer and with the hubby, we decided to keep him there for another month to continue his training and so I could learn to ride him better during lessons. I am looking forward to these and hope we can find a way to get along better. My trainer feels he has unlimited potential, but due to his age and difficulty accepting combinations of aides, he will probably top out between 2nd and 4th level. Heck, I'm just excited that I might be able to ride him without it being a major disaster! I'll try to get some new video of him up soon.
Johnny and I have been working really hard and have had several smaller breakthroughs and several big ones! I think of any horse I have ridden, I am learning the most riding him. He is so blatantly honest with me when I'm riding it's very easy to tell when I'm doing it right and when I'm doing it wrong. Suddenly everything is really clicking into place and making sense to me! He is becoming softer and more steady in the contact and having less head throw/resistance moments. We have started working on developing the canter....and wow is that going to be nice!
He's done so well, that I actually let one of our high school students ride him for me yesterday. I had them do some simple flat work (he looked amazing, and was so forward! I actually had a tear in my eye, I was such a proud horse mommy!) and then had her send him over some small cavalleti jumps. While a little wiggly at first to the jump, he was honest going over them and on the last one even got excited and took her straight to it, gave a nice jump over it and cantered beautifully away! I was so excited. I had been wanting to start adding in some fence work, but I have injured my knee and can't 2-point like at all. So it's been postponed until my knee is healed. I was beyond thrilled when Victoria asked to ride him. Unfortunately I was so entranced in watching him and coaching her, that I got no videos or pictures, but my hubby got some video of me riding him the day before, so I will try to get those uploaded and posted soon.