I got video of me riding and IT’S NOT EMBARRASSING! :-D
Soonie and I did our video progress update tonight, and I am so, SO thrilled with how he’s coming along. Seriously, the change even from the January video is pretty significant, just in the quality of his gait. But when you look back at the first September video, it is like he’s a completely different horse. Completely different!
The benefit of the stretch work and really developing the topline and gait is illustrated in his progress over the last few months. I wholeheartedly believe in this type of work – while stretching has always had a part of my training program, the shift in focus since November has had an enormous improvement in Soon’s way of going. Before when stretching made up maybe 20% of my ride and 80% was done on a shorter rein, easily 80-90% of my ride is now done in the stretch with short moments of a higher outline. Over time, Soon will be able to maintain the same quality and swing in his gaits with that shorter outline/more elevated poll. You can see how much more engaged he is in the hind end; how much more he steps under himself and how much more active and swinging he is overall. He’ll never be a big moving horse, but he’s developing so much more step thanks to this work.
I hope this video also demonstrates his happy attitude toward work. He is such a wonderfully pleasant individual to work with, and he really seems to be enjoying the stretching. I’m happy to take a “classical” approach, sans funny bicorn hat and gold plated bridle. No gadgets, no rushing, just good back to front riding. Seriously – if nothing else, it makes me so happy and satisfied as a trainer to see a horse loving his work like Soonie is. If I never win another ribbon again, it’s all still worth it. Love him!