September 22nd, 2015: Trailer Loading

Because I was out of town over the weekend, I haven’t seen Jewel in a whole week! But she didn’t show it at all—she was great and picked up right where we left off. We started out with some backing and hindquarter yielding practice from the ground. She was really soft and is really starting to get the hang of yielding her hind properly. Previously she had too much forward motion and not enough bend, but now it’s much better and it’s taking significantly fewer fixes to get it right (this means she is learning, yay!!). We also worked on backing circles again, and I was a little firmer with asking her to not lean on me, which helped a lot. I just had to do a few little corrections and then she was reaching very well with her front and rocking back on her hind, which really helps her stay off her front end (this keeps her from getting sore in her front feet from bearing too much weight on them). After our warm up, I led Jewel over the pedestal a few times, and then we walked right in the trailer! It was no big deal at all—she was a little hesitant at first, but we just got her front feet up and backed out a few times, then she walked all the way in and backed out nicely. We will do that a few more times, and then she will be perfect!

Our ride was great, too. Her backing under saddle is getting much better and she is learning to give to the reins and have a “soft feel”. She also did well when I played around with hooking the rein to her foot, an exercise where reach her inside front foot toward the center of the circle by lifting and dropping my rein in sync with her footfall. We only rode for about 25 minutes, but she felt good so I called it a day.



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