If you have a life feel free to skip this thread ;D
Just felt like sharing how we have been doing, because I was thinking about it myself today, just how far Bailey has come and how brilliant a horse she is.
Bailey is about a thousand pounds of bay flubber. (Though in this pic you can see her weight loss journey! )
I started riding her in late may of last year. She was nowhere near ready to run barrels. The first thirty days was just getting her back in riding shape. The next thirty was refreshing every bit of her memory about the barrels and adding all the missing buttons she needed.
When she came to me she didn't know what vertical flexion was. Her owner doesn't really believe in it. She was so hyped up off my leg, and even though that isn't a bad thing I wanted to desensitize her some. She would pull back violently when the bit was taken out of her mouth and whenever I did up her cinch. She would try and rush into turning the barrel then shut down coming out. She would pin her ears and get pissy and gate sour. She would fling her body around when I asked for a flying lead change and rush through it.
Well today I realized how minimal those problems have become. I took her into the arena and she stood quiet. Before she would walk off and get fidgety and flip her nose. I got on and we walked around on a loose rein, where before I would have had to immediately long trot her off to burn off the energy immediately. We warmed up on a loose rein in all three gaits. I started with a lot of vertical flexion, all three gaits. She worked up on her vertical like a real show pony, going quiet and putting her chin down and tucked her butt under her. I worked her on flying lead changes and she went in a straight line, stayed nice and quiet, and switched. When I took her to the barrel pattern, she turned beautifully and rated right back down to me. I took out a stopwatch and had her owner time us. The standard barrel pattern, she ran a 1D time for the first time since I've had her. And she settled right back down and walked the pattern again right after.
I had a hard time quitting her today because she felt so good. I hadn't really put a whole bunch of thought to the massive amount of improvement, but dang...in hindsight, it's amazing.
She's still a dipstick in the trailer and wants to race everyone in the warmup pen but let's not focus on the negative eh?
I wish I had gotten a video, but I was riding by myself (Well except for the owner but she was busy)
Even though I didn't ride either of the "prospects" today, I'm so incredibly glad I got to have such an amazing ride on my #1 girl ^^