Sailor is long overdue for an update. After we jumped a couple of fences at Deerfield, he stayed home to work on steering, while I just took Neuf and Legacy over for jumping lessons. Steering was bad for a while. Really bad.
I played with a few things, unilateral aids, long, straight lines, tight circles, quick changes of bend, hacks out, and just lowered expectations for a while. It was clear we had a failure to communicate, as the little dude is about as willing as they come.
He had creek crossings! This was the second time we went here. The first time I got off and hand walked him over, he was really concerned, but walking over with me leading was fine!
The other creek on our little ride. Look at the little brave pony crossing creeks, leading the way, on his second time on this trail.
Then he continued on his “firsts”
First solo trail ride on a couple of different loops. Passing donkeys, cars, turkeys, barking dogs. Sailor is a confident little dude!
Steering started to improve, he’s starting to grasp the idea of reaching for contact, so we set up some little fences and played around with jumping again.
The first week, he did pretty nicely.
Then a hack or two, more steering and straightness and a week later we tried again, and he was even better.
Tonight he had his first bareback ride, just walk/trot, but he relaxed quite well after the initial “what are you doing? that feels very different on my back”.
Sailor is really turning into a fantastic pony. The big question remains…will he stay a pony? Or grow into a hony?