Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (On Line, 120 mins) I brought out all the dogs and the litter of puppies to enjoy the sunshine with Aspen and I. I decided to start the afternoon off with trailer loading and got a lot of try and offer on Aspen's part to load and stand in the trailer. She had some trouble with backing out but it got easier after a few attempts. Also played with opening and closing the door - which unsettled her a little but not to the point of panic or trying to escape.

Shimmed my saddle differently again and then played on the Feather Line - got some nice circles and changes of direction, good F8's, downward transitions, and a couple jumps.

Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (Freestyle, 60 mins) Ooooohhhhhh this was a great day for our Freestyle today!!!! :D I rode Aspen in the snaffle for the first time and she was incredibly soft in it - so different from the day I went to ride her before buying her. That was the last time I rode in her in a bit and cantered on her. I was really pleased how well she took to the bit and how responsive she was.

We played with FTR at the trot, a few F8's, started the Corners pattern, and also a little bit of HQ ans FQ yields. She got a little bracey and sticky in her feet and mouth when I asked her to go backward with a 9-step backup - must have been her not liking the steady feel of the bit in her mouth. Something to build confidence with and play with more.

I was feeling really confident on her in addition to how much she's improved with her cantering on-line these last couple weeks. She's really started stretching and breathing at the canter which has been huge for her. This has told me how much she's improved in her emotional fitness at that gait, with that in mind I thought I'd ask for the canter at a certain point in the arena, reward the slightest try, and then ask again as we came back to that point in the arena. At the first ask for the canter it took a few strides but then she broke into a beautiful canter! She was just teetering a bit between wanting to maybe rush forward or maybe balk a little and buck - she didn't do either, and was actually really wonderful for the first time. I asked for the canter two more times at the same point and got it each try. It was a great first day of playing with the canter under saddle and I am SO so so so so pleased with her!!! :) :) :)