Today was "let's pretend we're western pleasure" day even though I don't own a western saddle anymore. Actually, I don't own a proper western bit either, but who cares? We totally pulled it off in our hunt seat bridle, complete with d-ring snaffle, hunt seat saddle, and half chaps. The trot-stop-back-trot exercises are fantastic for getting her really light and we accomplished many pitter-patter jogs in between the stops.
Overall, Lilly was excellent, although she was on high alert for emergency stop requests, so we had a few accidental stops (or ten). The "stop" part of the exercises is a great time to practice, though, and she will stop on a dime without any contact at all. A slight wiggle of my hips will send her backwards, and a light tap-tap of my leg will send her back into a jog.
I've really been working on finessing her cues and she is doing great. Now that she isn't anticipating my every request, I actually have time to ask her and have her respond properly and without any anxiety. She's even been picking up the correct lead 99% of the time, which is something we struggled with for a long time.
I'm telling you, the turn around since those shoes came off has been amazing.
Speaking of gorgeous weather, it was about 70 degrees today, so Lilly worked up quite a sweat. I'm still contemplating a clip of some sort, but I'm trying to decide what to do. I was originally thinking of doing a bib clip, but after seeing her sweat pattern today, I don't think that would be quite enough.
So I'm thinking about either a neck and belly clip:
|Neck and belly...|
I borrowed those clip images from Peasridge. I had no idea there were so many styles!