Pleased as Punch.

It's neat fucking amazing to watch the transformation that has occurred in my horse.

I mean.  He's got personality, right?  He doesn't hesitate to kick out or be a grump when he disagrees with something.  But, ultimately, I know he still wants to please me.  And I'm learning that he trusts me.  I'm learning that with the ever-improving communication between us, not only does he want to please me, he knows when he is.

Such a charmer!
I don't think I've ever been at such risk of anthropomorphizing my horse.  Dude knew he was the shit last night.

BM was teaching a lesson in the ring, so I took my time grooming and mounted in the grass riding area.  It's smaller than the ring, which is also a tiny bit compact, but it's level and feasible.  By the time I was considering trotting, the lesson had ended and I moved Archie to the ring.  Oh, he's also figured out that "open the gate" means to shove it with his face and proudly march through.  Though, last night was the first time that I got him to stand long enough and close enough for me to latch the damn thing closed again.

We spent a little bit more time walking with contact before I asked him to trot.  I tried to think of everything that T3 is going to expect of us and worked harder to ride like I was in a lesson, rather than just hacking.  I expected to maintain contact in all of the transitions, though we're really going to have to work on the downward.  We go from speed and impulsion and using his back end, to slamming on the brakes and crawling.  I literally fall forward.  Classy as shit.

I pushed him up into the contact and actually asked for extension on some of the diagonals.  T3 explained it previously as extending his back end and shutting down his front end, so he rounds in the center.  (I wanted to use "bascule" instead of "rounds" in that sentence, but I wanted to make sure that I was using it correctly.  Wiki actually has an article on the arc a horse takes over a fence.  Who knew.)  Coming into a turn after that extension, I had that magical, lifted floating trot and Archie's ears were pricked forward.

It dawned on me:  he knows what I want and he's happy when he achieves it.

So of course I took a blurry photo of happy ears mid trot.
See the bulge in the neck, too?
We spent some time cantering afterwards.  Two laps of just going forward, to extending, to collection, to a halt.  Both directions.  Would I have tried this at the old barn?  (Never.)

And then, of course, more 2 point.  The end is near!  I put an angry three minute song (Skillet, Sick of It) on repeat and demanded of myself to stay up for the duration.  I almost gave up before the song even looped.

By the time all of that was done, we were walking to a darkened barn with ever-lessening light.  It was peaceful and quiet.  I untacked the Kid and brushed him off.  I put him on one cross tie so he could eat his dinner and his beet pulp and brushed the aisle of the barn.  It was pitch black by the time we were all finished and I walked him out to his pasture with the assistance of my iPhone flashlight.

I just can't get over how much he trusts me.

Tonight, I'll go home.  Hopefully run.  Maybe swing by the hardware store and purchase more rope than I ever thought I'd need for a halter.  Tomorrow, we have our fourth lesson with T3.  Stoked!

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  1. Get it girl!!! Look at that 2 point time!

  2. Look at you kicking 2 point butt! BA! Enjoy your lesson!