09.04.23: In Line

Since we were having a bit of a challenge with the right lead I figured that it would probably be a good idea to see how Storm went with the long reins again. I put the bridle on him, and then brought everything else down to the arena so that I could change things over when I needed to. I brought him into the round pen for some warm up work to check on how our impulsion was. He did well, and I didn't spend much time there, before going back into the arena to begin our work.
I got him set up with the long reins and then sent him out. It took him a little bit before he would go head of me, but finally I managed to get into the right position and start really working. This was the first time that he had worked in the bridle with the long reins, and interestingly enough he was a lot lighter and needed more encouragement going forward. I had to encourage him forward at times because he would slow way down to the point where it was difficult to maintain contact on the reins. The contact was much lighter than it had been the first time we did the exercise with the halter on, and so I had to readjust my contact to figure out what was enough and what was too much. I found a balance, and we really began to settle into the pattern. He was chewing on the bit a lot, and I could feel him playing with it in his mouth, sometimes reducing the pressure in my hands greatly as he arched and stretched his neck, other times pushing into the pressure while he mouthed.
We worked for about a half hour concentrating on straightness and working on making the curves at the corners nice and round. They were still pretty wobbly, but we were improving slowly. Since we were still having so much trouble with the corners, I only did a few diagonals across the arena to change directions. He responded well, but we had a pretty hard time maintaining the straightness of the diagonal. The fence is a great help for that!
We finally wrapped up with a little more grazing, before I turned him out into the pasture. Not an eventful session, but I hope that we made some progress on getting closer to straightness.

Next Page: 09.04.25: Charge, Fair Lady, Charge
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