Here's the view I get from the saddle--
Today we had a short trail ride and then a magical experience in the arena. I figured we could handle going up to the gate that leads to the government land that the farm borders. It's part of Pisgah Nat'l Forest. We are allowed to ride there, but there's a locked gate. So I told Tule that we'd go to the gate and come back. I swear, he knew what I said. He went the whole way, ears up, forward moving, no balks, steady and fine all the way there. So we went through the gate and then he got a little nervous, so we worked that out and then came back.
Figuring that we were doing so good, we might as well capitalize on it, I aimed him at the arena gate. This we got open without me having to get down, another first for the team. And then we went around...and, drumroll please...I got a perfect canter transition! For the very first time, ladies and gentlemen, Tule and I cantered on the flat in the arena. I was so thrilled that I actually cried tears of pure and absolute joy right then and there.
It felt amazing. Tule is half TB from the Native Dancer and Man O'War lines, and he's built like a TB. I have been a little anxious about his canter because I know he's fast and he doesn't quite have his balance under saddle at speed. Now I know we can deal with it.
It's too bad that the weather is going downhill fast over the next several days and I'm also working three out of the next four, or we'd totally build on this right away. But now that I know, and more importantly he knows, we're Game On.
Dillon enjoyed having a snack and a brush today. The biff on his forehead is finally regrowing hair, which is nice. I think his ear's toast though. Oh well, right? Having a notch out of the top is a talking point :)