I just had the nicest ride today~! I was a little worried about going out alone in the woods since Mac hasn't been ridden much lately , but out I went. He was worried, as he usually is, but I felt that I was able to keep just the right amount of support on him to let him know I was there and was in charge. But I didn't micromanage him either.
I am getting a feeling of how much directing I need to do when he indidcates that he's worried about something he can't quite make out what it is. Used to be I would immediately take up the slack in the rein and try to either MAKE him see it, or keep him busy doing something else like sidepassing so that he wouldn't get worried about the unknown thing.
Now I wait a bit and watch him and if he looks at the scary thing I wait and see if he can digest it and decide for himself whether he needs to be fearful or not. So, I don't help him make that deciscion unless I feel that he is really worried. It's a wonderful place when I can trust Mac to figure it out himself, but I am aware enough to know when I need to "be there" for him in his time of need.
It was just so wonderful to feel him moving under me and let him have that nice loop of rein and when he felt good, I just said, "Wanna go?" and he sensed my energy and offered me several lovely canters.
Man, what a day!