Anyway. I'm pretty sure the reason why we had a spectacular ride was because The Boy wasn't there to document it. Which means the only evidence I have that I actually saw my horse are blurry and dark photos that very well could be the Loch Ness Monster...
|Nessie?? is that you?|
J thinks that the bit gives her more stability (which she likes, apparently this mare would prefer to be swaddled at all times if possible), so it has the added bonus of really quieting her brain down too. She literally doesn't spook as big or as often in it. PLUS (yes, there's more), it also seemed to make it much easier for me to keep her in my outside rein.
That progression is likely a result of 30 more days of training, but instead of fighting the whole ride to get her even and through in the outside, Prairie was already there. It was just on me not to screw it up.
So what did we accomplish was our fantastic leg yields on the rail (so much cleaner). Lots of our figure-eights. 15 meter circles at the trot and canter. zig-zag leg yields down the quarter line (to the right, super. to the left.. eeeeeehhh). And our piece de resistance was working Prairie's walk-canter departs. At first I was terrified, because our trot-canters aren't exactly polished, but I was thrilled (thrilled!) to discover that we actually have a pretty darn good walk-canter when I ask correctly. With the lighter contact courtesy of the mullen mouth, she's really easy to scoop up into the canter. And that makes me feel like I can ride again.
In the end it was a bit bitter sweet. On one hand I'm even more excited to get the mare home. But on the other, I'm sad to leave J. She clearly is working well with Prairie-dog, and I have to give her credit for working with me too. I enjoy taking lessons with her and her method of explanation really clicks with my brain. So that's too bad, but I'll just have to be diligent about returning for tuneups.
These photos are awful I know. I promise I'll get the official photography back soon!