When I started riding him two years ago, I could never imagine getting this movement out of him. He was so stiff and barely knew his own body. Comrade felt blocked especially in the mid section forward. Over the last year he has really started to loosen the blocked area. And these last rides, I am not feeling the blockage at all in the walk and trot.
To be honest, I think he is cheating on me. He must have a secret trainer coming in between my rides to work with him. Though the trainer needs to work on the canter some more:)
I wondered if it was a fluke at first. Just a hot pony strutting his stuff. Plus riding bareback, movements feel fuller. The first time, I enjoyed it. The next time, I played with it. Did he maintain during corner work? Yes. Did he maintain during lateral? Yes. Okay who is this pony? Finally I asked him to lengthen. If you have followed my posts you may remember that Comrade prefers collection to lengthening. That stems from the blockage. Well not only did he give me an awesome lengthening, reaching through his shoulders, he also maintained the connection before, during and after in the transition to working trot. Amazing!!!
Then I got to wondering if all this great movement would transfer to when he was wearing a saddle. Saturday was the test and the movement was there. It was not a fluke. Well I decided to try and get a video of Comrade to show everyone, but Mother Nature said "Not today." Darn rain. I still rode him, but I had to chip him out of the mud since he rolled as I walked out to get him.
|Rare shot of him standing square in the cross ties. See his muddy glory? His mane is full of mud and leaves.|
|Typical shot in the cross ties, resting. Ready for a bareback ride.|
Overall I am really happy with the progress Comrade has made. We have both stumbled along with only a little help from a trainer and sporadic help from my Mom. Could we move faster? Sure, but right now this is working. He is obviously doing his homework and putting together the pieces I give him to give me these awesome rides. Hopefully I can get some video soon.