Once I had a base built via Hollywood (the GP schoolmaster) and some fun installed via Tonka (the retired pro barrel racer), it was time to meet back up with Robbye and show each other what we learned! Here are some notes from the first two full lessons I had on her after a month of separate boot camps:
- Forward forward forward. Now that she actually responds to leg, I can get forward when I want it, and I can insist that it’s the amount of forward I want! Walk is still a bit tougher, but trot and canter – it’s magical. I love Robbye’s trot.
- No more “wiggling” my hands to ask for roundness. Like I asked on Hollywood, Robbye responds better to a gentle pulling side to side – it’s more like I change the bend in the neck until she gives in her jaw. Once she gives and rounds, I can play a bit smaller to maintain the roundness.
- THOSE STOPS THOUGH. When I ask for a halt like I’m riding a barrel horse, Robbye really sits on her butt and stops.
- When we get into an argument – especially about roundness – I need to immediately get on a circle. 20m is okay – 10m is better. This gives me the advantage because she can’t use her favorite weapon – bracing into my hand.
- Speaking of bracing and hands – I really need to cut that habit. When Robbye feels my bracing arms, she responds (understandably!) by bracing back.
- I also need to remember my releases. I’m trying to teach self-carriage, and in order to do that I need to let her carry herself.
- It’s time to start practicing lateral moves! She has baby leg yields and shoulder-ins!
- She really needs a haircut. We’re playing a fun game of how-high-can-Robbye’s-mane-grow-before-falling-over.