I have a dream to ride in the moonlight in my arena. Under the stars, on a clear, full mood night, at a big canter across the long side. We're not there yet, but, this is a step in the right direction.
I gathered up Mo in all his little-ness, and headed to the arena. In a recent HorseMaster episode, Julie worked with an experienced English rider who is starting a western adventure. She was learning how to teach her horse to stop in a western fashion- hips under, rear feet dragging dirt.
So I tested the lesson with Mo. Each bracey, tight stop from trot found him backing up long & hard, followed by a solid halt & wait. Each canter-halt that was bracey & on the forehand landed him in a tight trot circle on the opposite lead. After a half dozen or so of each drill, he started to get a little lighter.
Is he perfect already? Heck no! I'm no magic trainer, and I'm sure I didn't get it right every time. If he'd stop quick, but had his head in the sky, I'd back him up hard. Then, his head was level, but even that isn't enough for me. I want solid, steady, on the rear end stops.
And we'll keep working towards it. Romeo has learned quite a few lessons with me, and I bet I haven't gotten them all right. He is a well rounded critter, and will tackle almost anything if I aim him at it right.
Total lesson? About 35 minutes.