I randomly decided that I wanted to work on bridleless riding which came out of nowhere, since I had past resigned myself to the fact that I don't think I'll ever trust Jetta enough to actually take off her bridle. It's something I did a lot with Jazz, but again, I trusted Jazz a lot and Jazz was a very attentive horse. I could ride her in our large (3 acre) pasture with no bridle, no saddle or neckstrap and she would pay attention to every cue, walk, trot, canter, halt, whatever.
But I figure it will help us in other areas, because maybe Jetta will learn to be a little more attentive in general to my body cues. I decided to go mostly au natural and rode with my bareback pad and sidepull in addition to a neck rope.
Whatever I was expecting, Jetta blew it out of the water. She was amazing. I've never ridden her with a neck strap, but you'd never know that by how well she did today. She listens really well at the walk and part of how we cool out is for me to drop my reins and then we'll wander around and I'll ask for changes of direction, serpentines and figure-8's at the walk using just my legs and seat. Needless to say she did all of that as per her usual, but she even halted attentively when I asked and backed quite nicely as well.
And then came the trot work. Even that was good too! I was pretty amazed. We warmed up a bit by working on a jog-trot relying on the side pull. Jetta will never be a western pleasure horse but it sure is a lot more comfortable! That portion I tried to have a long rein and just reminded her every so often that she needed to slow down a bit. Then I put one hand on the neck strap and Jetta trotted a figure 8 and I didn't once touch her face. So neat! We worked on it a bit more, since Jetta would every so often speed up when I asked her to turn. But overall, I was thrilled. We even managed a serpentine at the trot. Ah-mazing.
We finished off with a canter (relying on the side pull, lol. Still don't trust her!) and I would ask her to transition down using the neck strap. And she listened. Wow, is all I can say. Such a good pony! I had a blast so it was the perfect study break.
|The wunderpony in her get-up.|
|Are we done yet?|