Ever since starting the “honest assessment challenge,” I’ve been putting aside riding to get some of the basics back. I finally reintroduced riding into our routine, and Comfort was almost the same in the saddle as she was on the ground! After our ride, she was calm and quiet. She blew out when I hopped off and received lots of pets and love. I also kept her on a loose rein the whole time! She has a couple spots in the arena where she prefers to trot. This didn’t change and she still tried to trot there, but it wasn’t a battle with us, just a quirk. I think she enjoyed the ride. To me she looked relaxed and happy. At one point, she stretched down into the contact a little, which was exciting!
As you can see from my technicolor dream graph, Comfort is doing better and better all the time. When all these get to 10, it’s going to blow my mind! I can’t believe the improvement we have had with catching from the pasture. Since we’ve begun this challenge, I’ve only had trouble catching her twice. The first time she wandered off and then decided to be caught. The other time, she was more feisty, but it was much less running around than it used to be. Most days, she will come up to me or at least let me come up to her. She’s been very consistent.
Leading has also been way better. I have a new system now for corrections. When we halt, if she goes past me, I back her up by pressing her chest. If she goes past me at the walk, I make her walk circles around me, but I don’t move my feet. So basically I make her use her head and she has to actually think in order to self propel on her own which gets her to calm down. She also thinks it’s boring and is more than willing to re-engage with me when I make her do the circles.
That’s pretty much it. Today I have a riding lesson, which will be the first since the challenge and only the second time riding since the challenge. I think she’s going to do pretty well! Watch that blow up in my face.