Charlie continues to routinely come to me in the field when he is called (best trick ever!) and today he got everyone else to tag along, what a cool sight:
Right from the get go Charlie was in a great mood. We rode outside (even though it was windy, which historically has not worked out well for us) but despite that and the fact that the geldings were running around in the adjoining paddock, Charlie was perfect. Soft, quiet, no excited grunting or excessive pulling. I had a horse to work with, so I took advantage of it!
I tried a new exercise today that I had read about in a blog I just started following (Horse Listening*). It's called 10/5 and the point is to do ten strides of one thing (i.e. canter) and then five strides of something else (i.e. trot); then repeat. There are countless combinations, you could do circles/straights, halt/walk, walk/canter. The possibilities are endless and it really helped focus Charlie's brain. Putting an actual number to the strides also really helped me with the cleanliness of the transitions. It forced me to prep for the upward and downward transitions and give clear cues because, man, those canter strides go by quickly and it's easy to add another one...or four....if you're not careful.
After our ring work I took Charlie on a short trail ride and we even hand galloped across the big field out behind the barn (and he came back to me, which is the most important part haha). I couldn't be happier. :)
Charlie is ready. Bigger and better things, here we come!
|Happy horse, happy me (and wow do I need a new helmet)|
*From what I've read so far, "Horse Listening" has some really great articles with good tips on dealing with common riding issues. I'd check her out!