Pogo and I have been concentrating on our "faux-ssage" and it actually has been going really well. Due to my laziness there has been a tack change in the bit department: I normally ride in a KK with a roller link which he had been seeming to like (we started in a big rubber snaffle, he didn't seem to like that, transitioned to a mullen mouth happy mouth, not as bad but could be better, then to a french link that was great then we tried the KK and that was better). My older gelding who's dressage bridle we stole, goes in a hollow mouth loose ring (and talk about fussy, this horse is the reason I have a bit collection...a hollow mouth is the ONLY bit he will consistently connect to, could be worse I guess!) Honestly, Pogo really doesn't seem to care either way but I'm getting good work out of him with it so I might keep up with that. I think most importantly I stuck a flash on him and that probably is making the biggest difference.
After our few days off and a few more days of faux-ssage, he is understanding the concept of a connection, and as he warms up is stretching down into the contact instead of rooting through my hands. I mean, we still have a long way to go for sure but it's a start. Every day we are getting quicker to accept the contact and establishing it for longer periods of time, so I think all of this should come around quickly....
OK I am realizing I do have pictures and other fun stuff to post (sorry this is going to be a long one, but a fun one!!!)
Next is relaxation, harder for some than others. Pogo is an internalizer for sure and to the onlooker seems totally unphased by a lot. This is true most of the time, when he is truly relaxed, adding outside leg can mean canter, could help for balance down a long side, if I shift my weight is signaling to move over, etc. HOWEVER he can be going around the exact same way but I feel underneath me he is not comfortable with something and the outside leg can signal an explosion...but it's not until something changes from the normal aids that this is triggered. He is a baby, and only undersaddle for a month so let's not get focused on that! For the most part he is relaxed.
Ta-da CONNECTION where we are plateau-ing for right now. Anyway we don't need to talk much about that, you will see in this video that I am fighting to upload all about where we are at with that. Anyway, I thought it would be good to share this classical pyramid, I know some people tend to forget the paths we need to take in order to get to a fully trained animal :)
I also wanted to share a video, shared with me by my friend Jenny of a Steuart Pittman Clinic....dressage for OTTBs
And lastly, here are some photos from Pogo's first outside escapades....