It's been a while since I have ridden regularly, but I was recently sucked back in by my 9yo son. It's kind of like the old Greek sailors and the sirens. Those horses just won't let you go. I primarily ride western, but have done some English. All of my riding now will be western or bareback, seeing as how some....person... stole my English saddle.
So I've got Smoky, the show horse. He was professionally trained in WP for a long time, then for a couple months in horsemanship, showmanship and trail. I've been the only one to work him in years, though. He's away for a couple months, so that leaves me with...
Tequila is my mom's trail riding horse that is also used for moving cattle and checking fence. In the past when I had ridden her, she drove me nuts because she doesn't KNOW anything. I mean, you can walk, trot, and lope (but not in the right lead), and I can put my relatively inexperienced 9yo on her and not have to worry. But I like having a horse that I can move any which way I want them to, and she can't. So she is going to be my project horse. If I get enough work done with her, I might use her as a backup show horse, or let my son show her. She is the only one in the pasture that he can walk out and put the halter on.
I've ridden Tequila for the last two days, and we worked on freeing up her shoulder, ribcage, and hip. We worked on softening and responsiveness to cues. (The first time I asked her to move her hip, she moved INTO my leg instead of AWAY from it.) We also worked on backing up. She is already ten times lighter in backing than she was when I stepped on on day 1, and she doesn't back in a circle anymore.
I introduced her to the vacuum today, and she LOVED it: I'm not sure why. She leaned into me, especially when I was going over her hip.
Okay, abrupt end. I'm off to bed.