|when your legwear game is unimpeachable|
In our last lesson, my trainer commented that Courage has gotten very good at stretching his neck down now. Our current problem is that he does it in lieu of engaging his hind end sometimes.
|neck down is good progress|
Thus, we've been walking. Slowly. In order to engage his hind end, I need to be able to control where he places his hindquarters so I can straighten them and move them where I want them, which I'll also need for renvers/travers and literally everything else we do from here on out (I LOVE HOW THIS ALL WORKS TOGETHER).
|not sure if he loves how it all works together|
What's been really working for Courage is to ask for shoulder-in up the quarter line, and when I get 2-4 good steps, then immediately go forward into a free walk across the diagonal. The shoulder-in gets him stepping under, the freewalk confirms his stretch down and straightness so the exercise doesn't make him crooked and tense and the quarterline keeps me honest about where all the parts are going.
When that seems to be going well, we add in some walk/halt/walk transitions, which is another fantastic engaging exercise.
|way better than he is with the ladies|
So naturally, after a few good walk rides, I was like OK GR8 HORZ LETSSSS TROT.
That was not great--we sorta sped around on the forehand. I used my core (omg!) to slow his rhythm and for like 7 strides, it was seriously the BEST TROT EVAR. Strides long. Float on. Slow and perfect and power from behind and OMG YOU GUYS THIS HORSE IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD.
|all the shit. all of it.|
Yes after 7 strides. He was ostensibly spooking at birds, despite not being spooky in general or caring about birds in particular. I know enough about him to know that getting after him makes things worse, so I dropped the reins and walked up to look at birds.
He stood on the buckle, licking and chewing for a long time.
Sigh. Not scared. Try again.
|silly hooman trying again|
Nope. Just hung out and took selfies.
|INSPEKTOR HORZ LOOKN 4 BRAINZ|
I finally figured it out while I put all my stuff away.
Courage is smart and he figured out what I want. He's a pretty good boy, so he even offered it in the trot.
It's also very hard, mentally and physically, and he's not ready to do more than a few steps right now. I need to reward him for offering and only ask for what he can give.
If he can go from this:
It's worth taking a few weeks or months longer to help him learn the next steps.
We'll get there.