Sorry that I have been MIA! My birthday month celebrations have kept me out a number of evenings - I may have to go through detox soon! :-) That, plus my kitchen reno, gearing up for the last fiscal quarter at work, furiously reading through a 300 page book for Book Club and preparing a statement on co-existing with coyotes for our community AGM have left me sort of exhausted!
Here's a quick update..... LA rides Gem once a week for me to keep him tuned up and she has reported back that he has been very good for her. He continues to stand nicely for me at the mounting block and he continues to keep his mouth away from my clothing. :-) I haven't been out to the barn as often as I'd like, but I can tell you that I have been practicing my reining exercises when I do see him, to the extent that my shoulder was sore! LOL! Our practice is mostly at a walk, but I do jog Gem occasionally while doing my rectangles. I can now feel the difference between a good turn and a not so good one. I am trying very hard not to micro-manage Gem. He is pretty much responding immediately to my corrections when he makes a "big" mistake and the number of times I actually have to correct him are reduced each time I ride him. I was a bit over-whelmed the first few times we rode after his boot camp, but I realized this past weekend, I am getting more comfortable with keeping my legs neutral. Neck reining still feels kinda weird, at this point, but not as weird as it did two weeks ago. :-)
I have had a couple of great trail rides on Gem. It is quite obvious that I am the one that has to relax more, not him! :-) Since his boot camp, I have come to realize that some of the small issues we have had in the past when out on the trail have probably been my fault. Boy, he was on full alert this past weekend. Head up, ears up. Perhaps it's the change in weather or the high wind we have been experiencing. He actually did a quick side step (that's about as big as his spook gets) when he disturbed a critter that took off in the bush - not sure what it was; could have been a wild turkey or deer. He was sort of sigh/sniffing a lot, too, while we were out. Even though he was on high alert, he was still pretty relaxed on the trail. Could it be because I wasn't constantly pulling on his face?? Yay, neck reining! :-) I am hoping to actually try trotting around a small field this coming weekend. I haven't really trotted out on the trails since I bounced off Gem the end of July. Send your positive thoughts my way that I don't get bounced again!!
Stu comes off of his 60-day training this week and my friend, Jean, couldn't be more excited. I will give you a detailed update after the unveiling!
Hope everyone is well! I will be trying to get caught up with your lives soon. Enjoy the rest of the week!!