First, I am pleased with the improvement in body condition that has taken place in Drifter over the last 70 days. He's no longer the scrawny two-year-old that first arrived. Drifter has been doing well under saddle as we progress through his training.
When we first moved to the arena, he was a bit dull & magnetized to the portion of the arena closest to his & Stetson's pen. He tended to hug the fenceline quite a bit, too. To combat that, I've spent time doing rollbacks on the fence in the areas he was attracted to & resting on the opposite end of the arena. Not long after, he began to free up & more willingly cover more of the arena. He's guiding more readily in circles & over & around obstacles. He's also starting to stop off of my weight during One Rein Stops. This is a good indicator that he's tuning into me more than outside factors. Now that he's freeing up more, his cruise control has been improving as well. We're also working on improving his hindquarter yield & working towards refining that.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with how he's doing. He still has some reactive moments, mainly on the ground, but he's also relatively easygoing most of the time. He's only improving as he gains confidence in himself & his surroundings.
Tomorrow, I plan to head out & about down the gravel roads & through the creek for the first time while the weather is warmer.
Next week, I'll introduce the snaffle bit & begin that transition. Once we review One Rein Stops & Cruising with the bit, we'll move into Bend at the Walk (where I'll also add spurs), Bending Transitions, & Vertical Flexion at the Standstill.