Beautiful Day With My Beautiful Horse

Today has been a GORGEOUS day so far!  No wind!!!!  Lots of big blue skies and warm sun! The horses are beginning to shed out some of their winter hair.  What a refreshing breath of Spring we had this afternoon!

For some reason all the horses were together in Aspen's paddock when I got there so I took the opportunity to  brush each one and get to know them all a little better.  I may have fallen in love with one of the weanlings that I helped to halter not so long ago.  He's really great!  I'll take some pictures of him and post them.  Someone tell me I don't need/can't afford a second horse! :)

Aspen got a pedicure today from my trimmer Pam Dunkle - she did a wonderful job on her feet and Aspen stood there like a lady! 

We had such fun play today - it was a hundred times better than the last time we played!  I was really aware of how much energy I had, my body language toward her, and remembering to breathe deeply.  Amazing what a huge difference that makes!  She has been steadily making progress but today was different because she was offering me so much more!  In everything we did we had a really nice balance of drive and draw which was evident in our figure-8 and weave pattern as she offered to do them at the trot, stayed on pattern, and left slack in the rope.  It felt and looked great!  Our stick to me was unlike any other time before!  I didn't have to use my stick at all - she was totally with me!  Walk, trot, stop, reverse, stop, trot, - whatever it was I was doing she was right there with me.  She even got into it a little with some head shaking and spunk!  Is that a left brain horse I see in there??

She jumped the barrels today which she has been struggling to do before and jumped my rail jump which is set at about 2'3" with ease.  Worked on transitions of gait, change of direction, and canter departs (gets her right lead easier than left).

Aspen offered to yield sideways toward me today.  I had my stick up on her neck as I took a step away from her and she brought her front end toward me then the hind end.  It was all her idea and it was really neat.  She had a lot of draw today! :) 

For the first time she had no negative reaction whatsoever when I got on her.  We did the touch-it, figure-8 and weave pattern while riding and did some trotting circles.  She's very light to my body but very heavy on the hands.  She felt hard mouthed the day I tried her out to buy her and I can feel it still through the reins.  She has a lot of opposition reflex there...starts with her bracing against the reins than raising her head to evade the pressure.  So we did lots of yield to pressure/porcupine games with lateral flexion, 9-step backup, and disengagment.  It helped some by the end of our session and I'm confident that pretty soon she'll have a really good feel in the halter.

I feel really, really happy with our time together today!  I hope this weather continues into tomorrow and I can go out there and play with her again in the warm sunshine!

My budget playground!  Buckets for the weave pattern, barrels for my squeeze game, logs shaped like an L for backing through, sideways, etc, a water trough and logs for a jump, and a tire (not pictured) for her to put her feet in.  There's also a hula hoop for me to stand in so I stop drifting around!