Since the Parelli Celebration....
Arie has been doing phenomenal!! ! Our online (with focus on drive) has gotten better---his ears are almost always forward now, his expression is more positive, his play drive is higher than ever and he's trying really hard for me now. His sideways has improved A LOT. Before he would just slug around not trying with a sour look on his face, but now he puts effort into it and has this "Oh, ok, sideways! Got it!" look on his face Woohoo!!! My draw has also improved.... ..not in "quantity" but in quality.
I rode him for the first time since the Celebration today and HOLY COW WAS HE DIFFERENT!!! ! We had a pretty provocative play session and I decided to warm him up doing Freestyle then move onto some Finesse. I rode him in the Confidence snaffle for the first time today (decided to try it out, just to see) and had a carrot stick in my hand. Freestyle is Arie's most challenging savvy b/c, I think, he was micromanaged so much in his former life that the idea of Freestyle is completely foreign to him. For him, he did SO well! I was able to focus more and we even did some trotting with just using the CS to support my focus. I was very pleased! His "go" button was also TONS better! Seems my drive translated into the saddle as well So then I moved onto Finesse. One thing Walter Zettl said in Pat's lesson was for lazy horses, while doing walk-trot, trot-walk transitions, to not allow them to go into the walk, but almost into the walk. The reason for this is b/c if the horse goes into the walk fully he will be very sluggish to get going again. I used this idea today and boy did it work!!!!!!! Walter is a genius!!! Arie ended up doing lengthening at the trot with just a slight squeeze from my calves, ears completely forward, and I was able to bring him back down to a slower trot by just posting softer! WOOOOOOHOOOOOO! !!!!!!!!! !!! It felt SO nice! I had a soft contact on his mouth and he never fussed. When I asked him to canter, his canter departures where the best ever!! Much quicker positive reflex (seems my drive fixed that as well!!). He felt so nice that I even asked him for a lengthening at the canter...... ....man is that A LOT of horse under me!! Lol! His speed might have increased slightly but he certainly lengthened and his ears were up the whole time! I was able to bring him back down to a slower canter by relaxing and taking hold of the reins just slightly.
Then I wanted to see if I could actually jump him for the first time. I've done a little trot work over a raised ground pole and he's done really well, but I've never jumped him under saddle. I had a jump set up that is, I think, equivalent to a barrel laying on the ground (maybe?). HE IS AN AWESOME JUMPER!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!! We jumped it at a trot and canter, although I can tell he's been pushed in the past when he's in the canter b/c he tends to get tense, so I just go on a circle, ask him to stretch and relax, then re-approach. He was brilliant!!
It's amazing how fixing my drive has fixed a lot of other small issues I was having. Pat is a master, no doubt about it! That is EXACTLY what I needed from Pat and if I wasn't already, I'm even more grateful of what he is teaching us. THIS STUFF WORKS! I don't care what anyone says, this program works, and IMO it's the best out there. Arie has never felt so soft and connected and focused while being ridden as he did today. THANK YOU PAT!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!