We don't normally ride on Sundays but today was an exception: the sun was shining, footing in the outdoor was perfect and well it was just an overall good day to ride. 

As I have been posting about, we have been working on making a connection...Today I think was Pogo's Ah-Ha moment - He usually starts good at the walk and likes to connect and then when you transition up, as would be expected (at least I think) he looses the connection and takes a bit to re-establish. The same has been true for downwards as well. 

My own opinion, I am not sure if I heard it elsewhere or if it's just from my own experience is that your transitions cannot be great unless your gaits are just as great. You can't expect a good trot to canter if you have an "ok" trot and an unbalanced canter - In my mind, I just don't see greatness in that transition from one to the other if neither are of quality.

Anyway, it took a little while to establish the connection from walk to trot (even though our walk work was superb). I think there was a lot going on with a horseshow inside and it being only our second time outside, so I'll give him that. He slowly sorted it all out and gave me some fantastic trot work, including some leg yields to and from the rail. He is really getting very accepting of the leg and understanding the different cues between forward, balance and sideways. 

The canter has always been a bit wishy washy for our connection establishment. He loves to just be left alone, and honestly, he could probably get away with it. He is mostly balanced, comfortable with himself in the gait and oozes cadence, he probably has enough to share with the entire barn (the horse doesn't change). BUT I do know that a time will come when I will be on trail or in a line and need that half halt alas, we are working on that still. Oddly enough, his harder direction (to the right) had a great feel and he slowly started stretching down into the contact (golf clap for pogo!). I quit when I got some good work and then ventured left...

The left got a little wonky...but instead of doing my normal "what can I do different to get this to work" I waited...and waited, and waited...approximately three 20m circles and twice around the arena, with some small trot breaks inbetween to re-group, re-balance, etc. Like MAGIC down our last long side, a reach, a pause, a stretch, a pause and then a long frame and connection down most of the long side...AND best of all a BEAUTIFUL downwards transition to trot complete with even more stretch into long and low, for real, with connection onto a circle and continued around like such for cool out,..

I think this was Pogo's "oh, oh HEY! I GET this!" Moment...if it wasn't, well I would love to see what was because that was really cool today...

And to finish, we learned how to open the gate of the arena and went for a stroll around the property to enjoy the nice sunlight and have a change of scenery, which was also really really great 

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