Aspen powering up before launching into some playful bucks!

One stride out from bucking!  Wahoo!

Love her expression!

Yeah, that's right, this Thoroughbred has a booty like a Quarter Horse! :)

Played with Partial Disengagements today with great success!  Lots of relaxation and big breaths.

I think the Partial Disengagement plan is working just fine!

I never get too far without Oliver, my trusty sidekick Pomeranian!

Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (Liberty, 15 mins) Started the afternoon a little differently than normal with the 'me and my shadow' game. I really want to take Aspen's feelings and opinions into consideration as we interact from the moment I arrive, through our play and riding, to the moment I leave. I thought that playing this game would help me get in tune with her a little more and let her show me her ideas. She came across the pasture to meet me and when I opened the arena gate came in on her own. After I set up the obstacles I wanted I casually went up to her and placed my hand on her withers and let her take control. I tried to keep my feet in time with her front feet, breathed as she breathed, and looked where she looked. At first she was kind of confused but after a bit of moseying took a huge breath and licked her lips. It was interesting to see how she processed this time together and how I really had to rate my energy to match hers. I found myself not stopping and staying in tune with her feet (too rushy). How does this translate into my on-line and freestyle? Lots to think about.

I also groomed her and tacked her up with my thera-flex and bareback pad (really made a difference in the BB pad rubbing on her withers) at liberty. I wanted the feedback from her on how she felt about the entire thing - so even if she walked away and I didn't get the pad on it didn't matter. But she stood like a lady and very politely stood for the whole process.

Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (On Line, 30 mins) Played with some different porcupine games today, a couple jumps (she was sound on her injured leg over the barrels!), and circles. She had trouble maintaining the circle after 6 laps (I was shooting for 10). I really want to not only up the # of laps but the quality of the circles as well. Quit at 12 laps when she softened her body on the circle and blew out her breath.

Tried the F8 pattern with 3 cones today... Boy oh boy do I need to get organized for that!! She did great, offered the trot, and was really locked onto the markers. She totally outdid me today in the skill department. Very proud of her even though I couldn't get myself completely together to F8 around 3 cones! :)

Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (Freestyle, 15 mins) Rode for just a short while today and she was excellent! Played with Partial Disengagements after watching Mastery DVD #1. Had a lot of success in relaxation, rhythm, and connection as well as lots of breathing and traveling with a low head. Huge success for an RBE! :)