His heart rate has also dropped exponentially. In the 4 weeks he has been here he has gone from pounding heart and heaving flanks at the end of each ride to a muscled horse ready to carry out the next maneuver if we need to. Secret's foot placement, head carriage have and over all disposition have also changed dramatically; the tail swish is now minimal, the willingness with which he moves around in his own space is impressive and the fact that we had something of an effort to bring his hind feet underneath him as I asked for a stop means it's been a worth while week of work :)
Today we had a steady warm up and then a short stick and ball session and the highlight was when the lead change came, without so much as an ask, when I flicked the ball under his nose from left to right . . . "Nuff said!"
On to Cilla, I won't say too much about yesterdays ride as it was much the same as the others - the directions are getting easier and the leg yields are much improved.
Todays ride was something of a revelation . . . Suffice to say that I wish we had had some one there with a camera. Everything started off the well and and we went straight out to the arena saddled up and ready to go. Hind quarter yields were going well in both directions, soft lateral flexion, a few really nice directional changes at the trot and walk . . . and then it began . . .
The first buck, really wasn't much to write home about and neither was the second - the fact that we found ourselves cantering around in a steady, softly held circle was somewhat of a surprise for both of us, so I let her carry on and tried to stay as neutral as possible while she explored this. After a few goes around we came back slightly more gracefully than usual to a trot. So I thought, lets try left . . . and again, the first buck was more of a tail swish and the second swish produced a nice steady lope to the left on the correct lead. After maybe 10 minutes pootling (a technical term) around to the left we again came back to a trot, then a walk and then she stopped and backed up a step.
All of this might not sound overly exciting, but it was a real break through today with Cilla - the circles were held well, and the lightness was something new - I have been saying for a while now that once she worked it out life would be easy (ier)! Today she made it easy all on her own. Give them some space and in the end you can produce better results.