Introduced Pip to the snaffle bit yesterday. I took the reins off the bridle and put the halter on over the top of the bridle and continued with normal ground work and liberty round penning. She did the typical chewing getting it under her tongue etc. I ignored it all and let her work it out. Oh and I also did the rope around the butt, follow the feel exercise, mixed with some friendly with ropes around her legs etc. This all went according to the book. No big issues.
This morning after the normal warm up; greeting, haltering, flexion, backing out of stall and moving HQ and FQ over, some million dollar moves, and backing in circles. I turned her loose in the round pen, she was full of energy today so I upped the games with her saying if you want to go fast, me too, I like that idea, and by the way let’s see how athletic you can be by changing directions at fast speeds. She got pretty hot and sweaty while I smiled calmly working a lot less in the middle. When she decided to settle and join with me, I gave her a nice long break to cool down. Gave her plenty of scratches and brought her a bucket of water. Then I did a little invisible line driving which was lovely because our connection is coming along very well. I put the halter back on did a few transitions on the circle and she was much more relaxed and responsive. Then I took the halter off and put the bridle on with the long lines.
I started with contact on only one line and slowly progressed to having two, she did really well. Then I started changing directions, she was more resistant when turning to the right but when I stayed in time with her feet using good timing and release it wasn’t long before she softened both directions. Next I started stopping her, again there was some resistance in there but I was able work it out real quick, also aiding with my breath and seat. Went back to some circles and then change of direction all at the walk. I checked to see if we still had a smooth stop before I started working on just a step or two of backwards feel. . This came pretty easy because all the other pieces were in place. So it was time to ask for the trot and do some transitions, she was a pro, looking real pretty with some nice lines, good impulsion, flexion, balance and rhythm. Called it quits on a very very good note.
This all took about 1 ½ hours.
The pm session was the best one we have had yet. She was really acting like a partner the whole time. Did a very short version of this mornings warm up after saddling her. Neither one of us were sweating a bit, she decided it is much easier to just be a willing relaxed partner. No bridle tonight. My main focus was to see if she could transition into the canter on the 22 foot line without any bucking, squirts, and not increase the speed into a gallop. If she could do this, I was prepared to ride her tonight. She did it perfect both directions. This is the first time she didn’t even give a thought to bucking. So to the mounting block we went. Didn’t take long to get her standing exactly where I wanted her. Mounted and dismounted several times. Did some lateral bending and moving the HQ. Walked around a little and by then it was dark, and the bulls were starting to freak both of us out a little. My brother’s bull and the neighbor’s bull were having a yelling match the precursor to a fight and my place is in the middle. I won’t be shocked if the fences are down in the morning.
Anyway, we quit when all was well. The first week is under our belts and I am very happy with her progress. I gave her two days off which is unusual for me but I had to man a booth at the state fair on Friday for the Burwell Chamber, and Sun. before church I took a family trail riding who were staying in the bunkhouse and then after church I took my parents to the horse races in Columbus. However the days I have worked her she has gotten two session each day except for Sat. So far a total of 11 sessions and 20 hours.I am looking forward to the rest of our time together. I am positive we have begun in a way that will set the rest of the month up for success. Her owner is coming on Sat. to bring more hay and take a lesson.