I don't have much time to write, but I have a lesson tomorrow on Phil. I'm super excited because we've been working on changes of stride length within the gaits. So at the trot I've been working him on the 20 meter circle and asking him to take a bigger step and lengthen the stride, and then asking him to accept the half-halt and come back to a working gait. Last week he was doing so well on the circle that I decided to take him across the diagonal and try it that way.
He did really well the first time, but then coming up on the second diagonal, in the corner, he got a little spooked. There was a new horse in the corner stall who was chewing on the wall, and it was making a weird squeaking noise. Even I was like "What is THAT?" for a second. Since we've been working on the whole "I'm not going to beat you for spooking" thing, he was not afraid of me, just the horse, and coming into the corner he rose up in front and sat down behind, in preparation for a spook. I held him together long enough to get him turned onto the diagonal (and away from the squeaky horse), and then I loosened his neck real quick. I used that spook energy and sent him forward, asking for a bigger stride.
And holy sh*t people, I got it. It was HUGE. He went through and over his back, and floated a good four strides before he fell on his forehand. He only quickened his pace a little bit. Then he actually accepted the half halt before the corner and didn't run through the transition. I made a big fuss out of him, and loved all over him. Then we tried it again, this time without the spook, and he totally got what I wanted. Since then we've been working on it, and Phil gets really excited about it. He really loves to lengthen that trot, and it's feeling really good. He doesn't get an entire diagonal of perfect strides or anything, but he's getting it and he's trying.
So I can't wait to show my trainer. I might be totally off base, and what he's giving me is incorrect and awful, but I kinda don't think so. Just thinking of this horse's future makes me SO excited.
I'll get video of my lesson if I can. :) Can't WAIT!
Our New Girl
17 hours ago