Time for some positivity in the NH board!
Tonight when I rode Arie I had a plan of working on our Freestyle riding pattern Weave. I warmed up with our Freestyle Follow The Rail pattern at w/t/c and working on stopping without touching my reins. He was listening really well, had a couple lazy moments where I had to wake him up but nothing big. I then got my carrot stick and worked on riding Freestyle with using my cs as one of my Phases. If I was turning it was eyes/belly button, leg, stick, rein. He was SO good! Freestyle is Arie's hardest savvy (right now) because he was micromanaged so much in his 'past life' and was never allowed to express himself. So for him to offer this much is really good for him. Then I started the Weave pattern at the walk and he was really understanding it, but at the trot he got the attitude "What will you do if I try to duck out at the last minute??" *sigh* He has to test me somehow, but that's just him. I really focused on not using my reins to get him back with me, especially to keep my independent seat. It didn't take long for him to give it up and we were trotting the Weave pattern with my reins over my saddle horn and me barely having to use my stick! It felt so harmonious and he really understoond, we were having a conversation. He did brilliantly!