|How we roll lately|
The first few rides were eye-opening to say the least. I naively thought this whole process would be a lot easier than it turned out to be, since Dino's favorite movement is "halt" and I ride him on the buckle in all situations quite a lot. But as I mentioned in my previous post, once I removed even the possibility of a rein aid reinforcement, things got tricky. At times I think I'm being very clear about my "turn" or "stop" aids, and they just aren't going through without the help of a bridle, or Dino chooses to ignore them because it's much, much easier for him to just make a beeline for the arena door instead of to make the circle or serpentine I'm asking for, which caused me to start to contort my body in very unhelpful ways in an attempt to try and get my point across.
|And sometimes we get to start our sessions with liberty work! And this new helmet that I LURRRVE.|
Teaching Dino to go bridleless has involved just a lot of good old-fashioned practice, and it's been beneficial for both of us. My goal is to eventually have him so tuned-in to my seat aids that the neck rope is just a subtle reinforcement, but for now I have to be pretty loud with the rope at times to communicate what I want. We work on really basic things like turning, circles, and riding to specific points in the arena at the walk and trot. It's made me realize that I'm often NOT precise AT ALL about directing Dino to where I want him to go, and it's opened up that gaping hole in my own training! But when you've just got a neck rope, precision gets a lot harder, and it's been fun to step up to the challenge of riding right to the letters, or all the way into a corner, or to any arbitrary point in the ring. The other night we spend a good bit of our ride just working on riding all the way into a corner of the arena (like nose-on-the-mirror all the way in) before turning. While it took several repetitions, Dino figured out what I wanted and we were able to end the ride with that very precise movement.
|He really thinks he's very attractive. He isn't wrong.|
I hope to get some video and pictures soon so you all can see just how much fun we've been having riding "naked"!