Something has happened with Sam and I. Something has clicked I think. Saturday I had a frustrated day. Tried to ride mid morning but I was angry and frustrated and Sam of course didn't want to play the game with me like that so I put him back in his paddock with some extra hay and went home. Later that afternoon I went out and rode. I was a lot happier so so was he.
On Sunday something happened. I don't know what I did differently but I wish I knew what. I started out with a lot of flexing and bending at the walk on both reins. (This is something I have started doing a lot more of during the last week) Up into the trot and he was tense and yuk. I just let him have his head and pushed him out around the riding paddock. Little more leg and the head went down (then straight back up) leg, head went down - see the pattern happening - I start to take up a light contact, leg on, head down but not up as quickly.
Soon I had him up, round, bending through the body on the left rein - WOW! Right rein which is our bad one - slow to come but then it started, softer, a little more bend, round, lighter - this was starting to hold for half a 20m circle - WOW. Into a serpentine and here we are changing our bend with little tension. I even had a few walk trot transitions where I could feel his back come up that much it really pushed me up out of the saddle - WOW!!!!!
I must say I finished that ride on top of the world. I wish I could explain it all, what we did exactly, how it felt, the lightness and the amount of forward I had with out having to push and constantly ask.
I gave him a good walk out and a shampoo and extra hay.
Then today I rode again. I wasn't expecting to have a ride like Sundays but I was hoping for glimpses of it. On the left rein I certainly did and I had the reaching down and roundness a lot quicker. I pushed Sam into a canter on the left rein, I just started to ask for him to bend, give, soften.
Canter I really haven't worked on and the few times that I have I have had a lot of difficulty in a) keeping him going b) stopping the 4 beat coming through c) just no softness
Then he gave, then he softened, then he gave some bend, then it wasn't 4 beat, but it was round, soft!!!!! Once again he couldn't hold it for long about 1/3rd of a 30m circle but you know what he showed me what we were in for. I was so excited! Unfortunately I got a little carried away and tried the right rein, this was terrible but he moved off the leg slightly, good start, and he gave a few times. I couldn't ask for more on his bad rein.
So my wonderful little pony is really coming along in leaps and bounds. I have never bought a horse along like this before. I have never had this sort of improvement. WOW!!!!