I don't know what's going on with Phil, but I think I like it.
He's been really fantastic lately. I've really been able to actually ride instead of constantly trying to reassure him and talk him out of his anxiety. The horses have been getting out more, and on grass, so maybe that's the reason. Or because it's been really hot. I don't really care, actually. I'm just happy that he's been improving.
He's letting me correct him without losing his little mind. He's letting me use my seat and leg to push him into my hand and establish a more steady contact. I'm able to walk him around the arena, both indoor and outdoor, on a loose rein and not be afraid that he's going to spook and bolt. It's been fantastic.
One other thing - I rode him bareback yesterday. I really only wanted to hack him a little, because it was screaming hot outside. Since I know that I have a tendency to over-work him when he's going well, I decided that using a bareback pad would keep me from riding too much or too hard.
Phil was wonderful. It was great to really be able to feel his back. It's amazing how much more swing he has in his back than Kaswyn. We didn't do that much, but we did walk, trot, and canter. One thing I noticed bareback that I didn't feel with the saddle is that the left lead canter feels weird. I didn't canter all that much so I can't quite put my finger on it, but if I had to guess I think he's pushing his shoulders right and getting crooked. Not surprising, since I don't seem to be very good with crookedness unless it's really really severe.
Anyway, I'm super happy with his progress. He seems to be trusting me more and more all the time. It's great.
And Kaswyn. Oh sweet Kaswyn. I just don't know what to do about him. One day he's good, one day he's not so good. He is always in good spirits, and I get whinnies and kisses, but when I give him a little lunge to check how he looks - well I never know what I'm going to get. He's so confusing! We've been doing a lot of walking and hanging out, grooming and treat eating. It just bugs me that I don't have answers. Maybe I never will.
Stay cool people and drink water!
The Harmany Muzzle
5 days ago