Guinness and I had a good time, even though it was pretty hot. There were LOTS of different obstacles and we didn't have a chance to try them all.
Here are my thoughts about the evening:
- Guinness is unflappable and will pick up *anything* if he thinks that there may be a reward for it - even rubber snakes and bags of "trash."
- His mounted HQ yields and sideways need work. Going to the left is better than the right.
- He backed nicely mounted many times, but when he was "on stage" he froze. Perhaps because I felt on the spot and got direct-line with him? I know that I was sure pulling on his face a lot.
- He worked many gates successfully, but not very efficiently. This relates to our sideways and backing issues, I'm sure.
- He managed to stand with all 4 feet on a pedestal for the first time! And he went down on both front knees (bowing) for the first time.
- He jumped a 2' pole jump several times with almost no prompting, and he did a good Figure 8 pattern on a 12' line.
- He was much more willing to offer an intermediate gait (both "gaiting" and trotting) while mounted but it really isn't consistent so it was difficult to ride gracefully.. I need some pointers with this!
My goals for tomorrow will be to have her watch me ride Guinness at something faster than a walk & perhaps video it for critique. I'd also like her to help me with sideways and backing with a soft feel. And G. and I need to practice plain old trotting 4-5 laps on the 22'!
We are getting there. I just have to remember that he has only really been ridden since the beginning of April - only about 3 months ago. It sure feels longer. :-)