It was great to see Jewel today after a whole week of being gone. I was at a horse clinic all weekend so I wasn’t able to ride her until today. It took her a couple minutes to get back into stride from having so much time off, but she really did well. On the ground, we did a lot of work on bending and softening while yielding the hind and front (the half-circle exercise for those who know what this is). Then we worked on an exercise where I back Jewel in a circle then go directly into moving her shoulders away from me once she reaches her front foot out and back. This exercise really helps her put more weight on her hind end and teaches her how to yield her shoulders correctly. I was expecting this to be more challenging for her than it actually was because she has had trouble with backing circles, but it only took a few tries from both sides to get some good changes.
Under saddle, we moved out at the walk, trot, and canter and really worked on our soft feel. I can’t believe how far she has come with softness in such a short amount of time. After warming her up, we focused on refining our turns on the hindquarters (meaning shoulders move around while the hind end stays still). She struggled with this a little, so I had her walk a circle and slowly make it smaller until it was so small that it became natural and easy for her to move her shoulders to the inside. This helped a lot, and at the end we were able to get a few correct steps starting from a standstill (this is much harder for them than going from a circle to moving their shoulders). We also worked on some backing with softness under saddle. Jewel really did well for having so much time off; I’m super pleased with her progress.