I put the cradle bit in his mouth with no bridle. He took it into his mouth every time I offered it, but his mouth was never quiet. I still don’t have a bridle to put it on.
We played with HQ yields in motion (check out the April DVD—the dynamics of motion is what I have been playing with for the past few months) on the ground. I had to tweak, but can tell he is getting it. I was ready to try it riding.
Blu was good for me mounting from the trailer. I practiced feel in order feel the corresponding Hleg to time my cue with to send his HQ under and across at the same time as lifting the front end. I went back to friendly and relaxation with contact when I needed to.
Blu was feeling great, so I decided to take it to the trails. On the road BLU WAS AMAZING. On the way home, we had 3 cars go by, from the front and behind and he did not get tight, rush, bob his head, or hustle to the next driveway.
On the trail ride, we landed into the HQ yields, or rather lifted into them. On the way back, I worked on grazing respect by following a pattern. I focused straight down the center of the path. When he followed that with me, I would focus on a piece of grass and he would easily tune into that focus. As we arrived, I would shift my focus up and lift. When he stopped his diving (he eventually arrived with me and stopped with the lift), I would relax and look down. To come back up, I went through phases of light tapping then clacked my legs. He eventually went with just a touch on the reins.
Tonight was a very nice study of feel for both of us.
Natural Horsewoman Out.