I hope you & your family had a great Thanksgiving!
This week, we were back to full-time riding. Slate did better loping under saddle though it still takes a bit of encouragement, though we've definitely got more to build upon than those first initial rides. I incorporated a dressage whip to give a clearer signal, as the end of my rein didn't have much effect.
Tuesday, we also began to transition into the snaffle bit. Slate has a tendency to lean on the bit, even more so than Rowdy, so he also spent a fair bit of time doing some groundwork to lighten up before we ride in the snaffle for the first time tomorrow (Sunday). I was quite pleased with where we ended today's session much lighter.
Even though Slate naturally has a tendency to be a bit more reactive/resistant than Rowdy, as his loping continues to level up in responsiveness, I'm also confident in his ability to progress at a pretty good rate, especially as he gains a better understanding of softness in the bit. On Wednesday, Dr. Kendal Smith made it up to work on horses.
Here are my notes from Slate's session:
Poll up to L
TMJ to R
Spine & Ribcage to R
Withers to R
Both sides of pelvis stiff
R hind Coffin joint
Dr. Kendal was confident that whatever caused these things to be out or stuck was also from months ago. She also recommended having him go through 30 days of a psyllium husk product to take care of any sand, which potentially could be contributing to his unwillingness to move out well at the lope. Because a lot of his body was stuck to the R, she recommended spending a bit more time bending & flexing to the right to help his spine & ribcage engage to the left to keep things balanced out.
Next week's update will be posted on Friday.