My horses are living at a wonderful boarding barn that is mere miles from where I live. It takes me between 7-12 minutes to get there from here, depending on traffic. The property's been in their family for generations, and has gone from dairy farm to trail barn to boarding barn. They still keep a few cows around (this is how I know Tule's got "cow sense" because I've seen him chase them). This morning, the owners came to load up a couple of the girls for auction. And I got to help a little bit :)
While they were gone, Tule got his Wednesday ride. Today I decided to work on riding outside of the arena, and responding to my legs inside the ring. And he was a pill to mount on the grass, but under saddle he was responsive and wonderful. I'm afraid I may have taught him to move away from being mounted on the grass, but eventually we sorted that out. I'll have to see what he does next time.
We had a lightbulb moment today. He is working off my leg aids beautifully now, and I can use the reins just to support the idea. In fact I got him to walk then trot in half-arena circles using just leg pressure today. It was incredible to feel that, and really understand it, for the first time. I knew the theory...now I know it practically too.
When I got Dillon out to groom him I was running out of steam. But, it's important to do something, even if it's a little thing, with him every day. So today, it was twofold...first, I tied the halter's lead into reins, then I asked him to bend both directions with rein guidance. Turns out that Dilly's right-sided, as Tule's left-sided. Tule does better going counter-clockwise, he's got better balance and more confidence. Looks like Dillon's strong side is the right, or clockwise; I got an almost perfect turn on the forehand out of him to the right, but not so great to the left. And that's okay :)