|My temporary bandaid|
Once I finished securing the area and what I needed to do for the day, it was getting dark as I headed to Peggy's. You know me, I will ride in the dark and that is what happened. Comrade was full of it, but instead of being "Up," he was "forward." When he is up, I us lateral work to get him focused. When he is forward, I let him go but add bending lines to encourage softness. We picked up canter, I got off his back and we went around a few laps. I really enjoyed the quality he was giving. He even did a change to the right lead over a pole with out a thought and continued his laps. Back into trot, I kept my reins longer and began bell curves. If he needed more of a reminder to bend and step under, I threw in a volte. Soon his forward trot turned into a connected, softly suspended movement. He moved evenly between my seat bones and felt balanced front and back. Picture an upper level dressage horse warming up long and low. That is what Comrade felt like. We ended doing 15m figure 8's while he maintained contact on the longer rein and his great rhythm.
Peggy could not see much of anything in the dark, but she said he sounded great. I will take it, rhythm is an achievement. Especially since I let him go and he found it himself.
Today I let him go again, only this time was on trail. He got to choose our direction as we pointed out the jumps we did to Peggy. When he took us to the big hill, we showed Peggy how we go up and down the graded bank. Then he led us down the hill to the water. We strolled in it for a bit, but he decided he was done and found a low land spot. Well this low land spot was surrounded by a BIG bank. I was going to turn him around, silly me. Comrade decided one bank is the same as another, and up he went. Fortunately my body responded to the jump by itself, because by time my mind caught up we were on top avoiding low branches. It was a totally smooth jump, no problem. And even better was the fact that Addie just followed him right up, no questions. Peggy and I were thrilled with both of them. Great things can happen when you let him go :)
No pictures of Comrade, so enjoy this one of DaVinci being "CUTE AS A BUNNY."