2017.02.18: Golden Day, Golden Boy

I was a little bummed that I didn't get to work him again during the week, but this weekend is supposed to have gorgeous weather, particularly for February, so I'm going to take advantage of it!
The morning was cool, but not so chilly that a jacket was required, and there was almost no breeze. Sheets came off horses, and they were all snoozing in the warming morning sun. Storm was in a nice frame of mine, and so we easily tacked up and go ourselves organized to get to work. He got through the barn yard with very little resistance, which was a pleasure.
We started to the right, per our usual routine, and he got to work quickly. It seems that once I get him out on the circle, he needs quite a bit of support through the line in order to begin finding his balance. This can be challenging because if he is too close I don't want to use too much contact because that keeps him pulled in, but yet if there isn't any contact he doesn't start finding his balance either. So we are still experimenting with this.
He began finding his balance, and needed some trot work in order to really explore his own self carriage. But when he began finding it, he looked fantastic. His gait was smooth, and he was really exploring where his head and neck position needed to be, which is the direct result of the hind end working properly and the spine getting into alignment. He was able to maintain a trot and his own carriage without so much struggle, which is a big improvement. He worked hard, and was doing well with his focus.
He lost things a little bit when Eddie came out of the house and startled him. He had a short run around (less than a whole circle, an improvement!) and then didn't want to work on that side of the circle for a while. I finally got him settled back down and refocused again. It began to look like he was fatiguing, his head began bobbing more than I felt like it should, so we slowed down, and then I decided it was probably a good idea to switch sides and see how the left side was doing.
He followed his normal left side pattern of falling into the circle. It is a lot of work to push him outward and get him to explore his balance at the same time. He finally began finding it, and while he needed some trot work in the beginning, after that he began to slow way down. This was a really lovely shift from his previous pattern of needing speed to explore his balance. He was slowing down to the point of stopping completely sometimes. I was glad for the shift, and didn't get after him, other than to gently encourage him to continue onward.
I was beginning to fatigue, and that forced me to begin focusing more on my own posture and balance as well. Focusing on me makes it hard to focus on him, but when I could find a little bit more release in my own neck and shoulder tension, he would do the same. It is tricky to manage myself and him all at once, but awareness is the first key.
We worked for a while until it seemed like he was struggling again, and found a really lovely place to stop. I wish I could get photos while we are working because he is looking amazing. Walking, holding the line and whip and trying to take a picture is just a little bit beyond my skills!
Here's to another great day tomorrow with the golden sun and the Golden Boy
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