Today was a continuation of my slow-and-quiet-bore-you-to-death plan. It worked pretty well! I had a really nice ride. Can I just say how much I love this horse? The tiniest hint of a thought and she's ready and waiting. A slight confirmation and away we go. As I'm finding out, this can be a double edged sword, but on days like today it's pretty darn cool. We got some really nice relaxed leg yields. Probably not a big deal to some, but for me a big grin from ear to ear because lately it's been all about trying to fly forward or sideways, mortally offended I am actually touching her. Today I played around a bit more. I know logically she has to accept more leg. Here's what I think has been happening though:
Me: think about what I'm going to ask
Her: "OK, ready when you are"
Me: "OK, get ready"
Her: starting to get confused..."Just let me do it already"
Me: Asks, quietly
Her:" OMG, you don't need to shout! I knew what you wanted when you were thinking about it...In case you didn't notice I had started doing what you wanted AT LEAST .5 second before you touched me. Why are you asking me twice? Was I not fast enough? Is this not what you wanted? I'm so confused!"
So, in short, she can read me like an open book and is anticipating everything. Today, as mentioned, I focused on just having her relax, and compromised with her by trying to be very conscious of my body and keeping things as simple and quiet as I could. I know there is the thought that I need to just ride "normally" and she needs to get used to it. But oh my, do I wish I was a fantastic rider who would never accidentally lean or bump...I'd keep her just the way she is.
As an example, I'm embarrassed to say I'm not always 100% at picking my diagonal...especially with her when I am focusing more on other things. She lets me know pretty darn fast what I'm doing is WRONG and tries to scoot under so I am "right". (Actually maybe this could be a super handy trick in an equitation class;) Time to step up my riding, Ms. Gingersnap deserves it.
Here's the muddy beast: