Today I decided to spend some quality time with Iona. Time riding. Hopefully, time to remind myself why I took the trouble to bring us here in the first place.
I hung the saddle over the arena rail and we started with the ball. I hadn't had it on her back in ages, and I was really pleased to find that she had no problems with it. I moved on to some work with the flag. You can shake it around all day and she doesn't mind, but start to stroke her with it and she is convinced that it is only a matter of time until you will touch her right ear with it - and THAT WILL KILL HER!! When it got too much for her she would start walking around, so I just kept going and would stop when she stopped walking. Interesting how she stopped walking by a gate. Let's go out for a ride! The next time she stopped by her saddle C'mon, let's go!! So I thought "Yeah, let's saddle up!"
We also tried some lead by the chin, which went pretty well, then lead by the mane, which was harder, as she kept lowering her head. Perhaps I was pulling down, but I didn't think so. So I mounted and we warmed up with a little passenger lesson and some Figure 8.
When we got out into the pasture I was pleased that she doesn't seem worried about leaving Bruce now. I took her out on line on Saturday, to work on this, thinking that we would have a lot of thresholds, and she didn't seem to have any. Guess she must be feeling more secure about things now. However, we had a lot of discussions about diving for grass today - something that really hadn't been a frequent problem for awhile. It kinda caught me unprepared and we had a few tussles. Darn! Next time I will remember to establish the groundrules before we start riding around. I don't want lightness to go out the window because of this.
Otherwise, she was really good. No spooks, and pretty willing to do what I asked, which wasn't very well organised. Next time we will do some point to point and stuff to make it more interesting for both of us. I really am more rusty in my thinking than I expected! No wonder she just decided to eat grass, it's not like I had a plan! Next time I will be a more prepared leader.