There's something you won't see on YouTube (unless my daughter decides she has no intention of living to see her 13th birthday).
Seriously it was AWFUL. But the good thing is I was able to get over my horror and get to work. I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with my steering. I was trying to direct rein Smokey toward the rail - sorta. What I needed to do was open the outside rein, pull the inside rein over his neck, push slightly with my inside leg, and make sure I was sitting straight and not LEAN FORWARD OR INTO THE TURN!
Yesh. Where did I pick THAT up?
I haven't had this problem steering, mostly because my horses up to now ignore bad direction. Not Smokey. He is used to doing as he's told.
This is good for me, I realized, as long as I don't take too long to get my act together.
Anyway, yesterday I worked on
- sitting straight,
- looking much farther ahead (like we did with the cows),
- thinking "ride the rails,"
- use a slight pressure from my inside leg,
- stronger pressure on the inside rein coming across the neck,
- open on the outside leg and rein,
- with an ever so slight little finger pressure on the outside rein when needed to keep the head straight.
It was like full body algebra.
But darn it if we didn't get to riding together! We actually rode the rails, and then, after a bit, we hit the trail.
Alone. We rode out alone. And he was terrific. Not barn sour, willing to get out there and work even in the heat. We didn't do anything too obnoxious - no hard cantering, or trotting in this heat. More mental work, with a few bouts of trot and canter here and there. We worked on turning around obstacles, being precise where each hoof fell, backing and doing hindquarter yields. By the end it was wonderful. For both of us. We actually went where I thought I was telling him to go.
Maybe next week's video will show an improvement. But chances are you won't see that one either. LOL
BTW, the headstall came in with the bit and I have to say, I was thrilled with both the quality, speed of shipment, an price. Seriously - go to Half Circle Ranch. And if that weren't enough, they are doing their best to only stock American made products.
You know you need one of these. And for $35? Woo hoo!
I'll try to take some pictures of Smokey in his and will do more horsey face analysis next time.