Remembering how fast we blew through horses at our last play day, I trailered both of mine to the farm again. Turned out, Kris and Nita were not able to join us, so I wouldn't have had to bring them, but a gratuitous trailer ride never hurt anyone.
Jazu was a stinker about being caught both coming and going, but once caught, he loaded without hesitation.
He spent the time playing with the junior stallions while I rode Poco. Well, some of the time. The little boys were interested in trying to impress the girls, which did not impress Jaz.
Heather rode Cayenne, an orphan QH filly she hand-raised. Although she measures barely 14hh, she's got substance and you can see she carries Heather well. Stubborn little girl, though.
It was hot, and Pokey was relaxed and compliant. With barrels, ground poles, and me making him do yo-yos, he was engaged and wasn't trying to anticipate our next move.
I'd like to thank whomever it was who wrote a post about looking where you're going. Sounds like such a no-brainer, but I caught myself looking around, looking down at Poco, etc. No wonder we're all over the place! It went much better when I kept my eyes on my destination. Pokey stayed close to the fence line and didn't short-cut corners. He was a lot more likely to actually walk in a straight line. I didn't have to fine tune every step he took.
The other thing I worked on was sitting back and relaxing, which led to a huge revelation; an 'aha' moment, if you will — I'm holding myself back because I'm holding him back excessively. When Poco drops his head, I tense up because I know he has to have his head down to buck or to drop and roll, both of which he's done. I'm also afraid that if I give him his head, he'll take off. He used to do that to me when I first started to ride him.
In order for us to take our next big step together, I have got to trust him enough to give him his head.
Sounds so easy when I say it like that, doesn't it?