her.There's something about this last decision, this decision to be the same person in the saddle as I am in the round pen, that has really pulled so many things together.
It reminds me of that moment when you are sewing something made of many different parts and the first time you pin it together it finally looks like what you are trying to make.
Today I asked the trainer to ride Smokey to see if I was doing something wrong at the canter in the arena. I was somewhat relieved to see he did the same thing with her as he had with me - worse in some spots, better in others.
He has gotten out of shape and balance at the canter, and it'll take some more time in the round pen before he's ready for the arena. But she commented on how solid his trot is and how he's progressing on his neck reining.
Then I cantered around the arena with Lily and it was effortless, my balance was there, my cues soft enough, and we made our circles without bowing out in any direction.
Of course Lily has about 11 years on Smokey, and this wasn't about her being better at the canter. It was about my improvement in the saddle, my new posture being more balanced. Her confidence has grown too, and nearly all the tiny spooks were gone.
Tomorrow we may go on a trail ride. I'm a bit hesitant to be honest. But a combination of things should make me more confident. Smokey is getting turned out in a big pasture every day and getting to run off energy. His manners are vastly improved. My attitude is in the right place.
So we shall see.