.Last week Rags and I had been working on the basics (stop, go, and steer), but I knew there was probably something more advanced we should be working on, so on Monday/Tuesday I started focusing more on using leg/rein to put him down in the bridle. It seemed like the next logical step, and TrainerA agreed! 😁
After our ride she had me put Rags in a big circle and focus on keeping a consistent amount of pressure on the bit while putting leg on to drive him into the connection. We started at the walk, but quickly moved to the posting trot, where I found out just how much ground my new horse can cover with one stride. Keeping a consistent contact meant really focusing on my hands and widening them to keep the pressure the same whenever his head shot up (while putting on so. much. leg.).
Rags also has a bit of a rooting problem, so TrainerA had to coach me to open my chest, keep my elbows bent, and “activate my shoulders” to prevent him from pulling me over his head. If he started to root I could bump him off of the bit with gentle flexion, but we wanted to encourage him to stretch his neck out towards the bit. Under no circumstances was I to pull him backwards or release the contact.
Speaking of walk breaks, Rags is the laziest. He’d get a walk break and then when we tried to get back to work he’d stop and refuse to move. Flexing him side to side a couple of times seems to unglue his feet, but we’ll see how that progresses as he gets stronger and is in more consistent work. Our main goal is to teach him that forward is good and that there’s nowhere he can go that the contact won’t follow.
Rags also got to go out into the turnout for the first time since he got to KW (I wanted to be around to supervise in case he decided electric fences are for pansies), so I leave you with this cute video: