Having spent all Winter complaining about the ground being wet, the wind being cold, and not being able to ride, I am now in prime riding season and feeling so tired I'm really not making the most of it!
That said, the little bits that we have done have been positive. Trying, but positive. The third time of going to walk Rio out of his field after our first session, and he's walking up to it with no issues. I'm still leaving him to graze in order to close the gate a few yards away, but the panic is not as set in as it was before. I am hopeful that a few more sessions will crack that.
I brought him up on Thursday evening and gave him a good brush down, before I hopped on and took him into the outdoor arena for some schooling. He was really not very attentive at all, and when my friend left the school with her horse, he was very tetchy. I decided to see if I could test his senses a little outside of our usual routine. Sylvia Loch has recently moved into the local area, and classical dressage is something that I would like to further explore with Rio. I think that with both done correctly, that CD and parelli will work nicely hand in hand. Both intend on creating a bond with the horse whereby a tiny movement or suggestion speaks volumes.
So I decided that I would try simply dropping my inside leg weight slightly more into the stirrup, and see what happened. Now, Rio is still quite young (yes I know he's six now!) and is quite attuned to weight distribution. Something that I'm keen to utilise and not lose. I was pleasantly surprised that whilst keeping my line of sight straight through his ears, not moving my hands and reins to steer, that he started to turn. A little more weight in the stirrup, and he turned a little sharper. What magic this is. The basics are there for us, I just need to learn how to develop them.
For now, we will stick to small tweaks, and we need to do a lot of bending to ensure those corners aren't taking at a 45 degree angle to the ground when we make it up into canter. Moving forward, these little things are what give me the belief that my boy really can do anything, if only I can help him to learn!