Steve Holt! had a lovely week. We spent a lot of time going over the things we've already learned. A lot of in hand work, more round pen work, and some big arena time. Our whoa is coming together. Not stop on a dime yet...no where near that. But he's changing gears when he hears the word. Now we just need to work on getting the actual stop rather than a slow down. I did find that he's got a stop button, however. While he's walking along, if I reach back and pat his rump, he immediately believes it's time to whoa. Kinda funny. Maybe I can work that into his freestyle... Look! If you fall off backwards over his butt, he'll stop! Yeah...I can see it all now...
Here's how our week shaped up:
1) The whoa is progressing. He's understanding that it means come to a stop, but he's not aware of just how quickly that stop should be there.
2) He's grasping the concept of backing while I'm on him.
3) Steve Holt! is responding nicely to my request for small circles.
4) He's beginning to realize that legs mean something other than go, as I can move him either away from the rail, or back to it, with a little added leg pressure.
5) We hauled to a new arena where there were a lot of horses moving around us. He was a bit excited at first, but settled down and got to work.
6) We've been riding in the big arena. He's listening well enough to trot circles. Because the riding club arena is 160x180, it's a bit large for me to have felt comfortable breaking into a lope until he gets a bit more power steering...or until someone is on the end of a lungeline to help him with the whole circle concept. Or until we've loped in a smaller arena.
7) He's no longer kicking up his heels when asked to lope in the round pen. He does, however, pin his ears and try to cut across the center rather than just pick it up nicely at the rail.
8) We went for a lesson again yesterday. It was ride 14. We loped! Not that loping alone is big (well, of course it is, but you know...), but we did it in the arena not the round pen. And whats more...
9) ...we did it with another horse working in there with us. Steve Holt! has seen other horses on the outside of the round pen, but this is the first time he's had someone passing him, or had to pass them. Aside from some ear pinning and nose lifting, he did fine.
10) And what's more...after we were done we were sent to the corner while Curt fired up the Hydra Bull. Steve Holt! was nervous, which meant his feet were moving, but after a couple of minutes of watching the other horse work he began to settle in.