I woke up waaay too early for church, so I fed the boys in the dark. Had breakfast, got dressed, and murmured to myself about being bored while I drank my coffee. Well, might as well do somethin' with all this extra ambition, before it runs down the road with me.
I grabbed Harley from the pasture. He walked up to me, apparently eager to get his job done for the day so he could spend the rest of it munching grass niblets. He saddled up and accepted the fly spray like a true gentleman. I praised, patted, and cookied his success.
We walked calmly to the arena, and he longed out for about 10 minutes in his halter. I didn't quite know what I'd be asking for, so when I had his mind, I stopped, put on the bridle, and hopped on.
I worked all the basics, walking, trotting, halting on light vocals. I also started playing with my seat, moving my pelvis forward and back, and learned something about his previous training. If I sit with my butt-muscles behind my pelvis bone (i.e. crotch bones sort of plugged in forward towards the saddle front), he moves on with good forward. If I push that bone group back, (i.e. barely lean forward), he stops quickly with zero bit pressure. Hmm.. interesting. I monkeyed with that a while, and when I understood it, I started experimenting with how little seat cues I could exert for forward motion. Much less than leg bumps alone. Nice!
Then, I loosened the reins to no contact, and started to ask for wiggly turns, direction changes, and serpentines, all on neck reining and leg pressure. He's great turning left, in fact, fantastic. Turning right? We have much to do. I finally got some decent turns with only minor tugs on the right side of the bit before quitting for the day.
In that early crisp morning air, I could hear all the birds fluttering and chirping around us. There was only one car adventured down the dirt road in the distance. It was quiet, and peaceful. A good time to concentrate on just the horse, and the ride. By the end, walking out, I could feel him breathing lightly, and matched mine to his. Harmony... Or something like that. =)