I don't even know where to start with today's ride. We started off at a nice walk around the arena, warming up in both directions. Then we started a posting trot. It was so relaxed, even, and cadenced! We did serpentines, circles, figure eights and he was incredible. We were on a loose rein with minimal contact. He was soft and supple, responding to each cue calmly. I was in awe! I told myself to remember how incredible this feels because I may need to remind myself after we try the canter. I wasn't expecting much. He picked up the canter on the first ask each time. It was a smooth even canter, not racing or balking. We had a steady contact with the reins. I had to help him balance around the corners with my outside rein and inside leg, but other than that it was incredible. He kept it up for minimum of two laps around the arena. He stumbled once and picked right back up without any encouraging from me. John and I both had huge smiles on our faces! He picked up the correct lead every time. Each time I asked him to walk I gave him lots of neck pats and a loose rein to relax. After the fourth canter I worked on a nice slow sitting trot to make sure he could be calm and relaxed after the excitement of cantering. Oh my gosh, that was the nicest trot I have ever sat. On any horse. It was perfect. It was slow, relaxed, head down. Even stride, effortless to sit. I was in heaven riding him. I actually found myself checking my shadow and working on my posture and equitation because I didn't want to get in the way of this amazing trot!
I also worked Pete before I rode Boomer. I found out today that Pete is about 4 years old. Pete seemed to have thought things over last night and was very good today. He was more responsive. Here is what I wrote in his log:
1/18/09 30 minutes
Today we reviewed the woah, walk, trot, canter, and reverse cues. He was much more responsive today and really started to understand what I wanted. He seems to understand 'walk' as an upward and downward transition. 'Woah' is still difficult. We worked on yielding his sides again also.