This was going to be a cute picture but then she found a treat in my pocket! ;)

Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (On Line, 60 mins) Had a great time with Aspen on-line today. She started off a bit spooky in the wind but quickly settled down. Played with jumping different obstacles and jumping toward me, backing by the hind legs and tail, and played with straddling a pole for the first time. It was somewhat challenging for her to figure out how to get just one hind foot over but when she got it there was lots of blowing out and licking and chewing. She licked and chewed and blinked her eyes for 5 or so minutes! Great thinking exercise for her! We also played a bit with the weave - it's not our strong area as she gets a bit ahead of me but now that she's got the F8 pattern down pat it is definitely time to focus on the weave!

Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (Freestyle, 15 mins) Had another great ride on Aspen today. Played with finding relaxation at the trot and even jumped the barrels once! I took some video with my camera tied to the fence and totally missed this huge breakthrough I had with Aspen! Grr! We were trotting along and I kept feeling out of balance, my legs weren't under me (as you can see in the video), and I felt kind of hollow - every time I tried to round my back my legs would swing forward. I envisioned Linda's demonstration in one of the Mastery DVDs and focused on emulating a Finesse style seat (more engaged core, wrapping my thigh muscles, and leading with my tail) and wouldn't you know Aspen lifted her back and sprung foward into this insanely lofty, powerful trot. I was so taken aback by this amazing moment that I rode her a few strides foward like that then just had to get off so I didn't ruin it! Totally bummed that didn't get on camera! I was so so so proud of her and quite pleased with myself :D

Samantha Thorning with Aspen, (Liberty, 15 mins) Played for a few minutes at Liberty - got some good video of it although I did go off camera and have her STM over a jump. Definitely need to work on our Liberty circles and connection in the F8.