As some of you are probably aware, Lacey is a crazy crazy mare. I love her to death but man, she's hot.
Anyway, due to a major altercation between us a few months ago (she was bolting with me and basically being completely out of my control, just because she could) I started riding her in a pelham.
The difference has been miraculously wonderful! I have so much more control and I really feel like I'm getting somewhere with her training.
I think the major change here is that I'm not distracted by the need to keep her under control because I know that all I need to do is engage the curb rein if she gets out of hand.
For instance, I've finally figured out how to influence her gaits with my seat which is something I've been trying to understand for years and never got. The last few rides, I've been able to get her into a trot so slow that it's practically walking and back up to a really fast trot just using my seat! It's really fantastic. Today I figured out how to "go dead" with my seat and get her to a walk, from a trot, without using the reins at all.
And, other fantastic thing, though all of this, she's been keeping her head down and stretching for contact! I'm not sure if it's "correct" contact but it's contact, none the less. She used to constantly have her head way up in the air when we weren't walking along on a loose rein so the fact that she's not bringing her head up and functioning well at all gaits is nearly miraculous.
AND! Today I was able to comfortably sit her trot for the first time EVER!!! Of course, it was only 5 strides before I fell apart and she sped up, but it's a start.
I'm not sure why changing to a pelham seems to have made all the difference but I think it helped me take any subconscious trepidation I had about controlling her out of the equation. I also think she really likes the solid contact that the ported snaffle part of the pelham gives her.
We also galloped today. I had been previously unaware that she has a slow canter, a fast-ish canter, a canter that's so fast it feels like galloping, AND a gallop. Lemme' tell you, that gallop is not something to mess with. Apparently it was also her version of a "hand-gallop" since I was still holding her in a bit. She was going so fast. I feel like she'd cream some cheetahs, or something, if she was really full-out galloping. She came right back down to me when I asked, what a good girl.
Anyway, that's my happy day stuff, share yours if you want! :)