Last night's longe session with Halo brought up an important question: what's next? She's doing well in her workouts, and progressing nicely with longeing. All our work last night was on the line (no free-longeing). She walked, trotted, and cantered when asked, and there were no random changes of direction. There's definitely polishing left to be done; she has trouble maintaining canter counter-clockwise without a lot of encouragement (i.e., me running). We will continue to polish what she's already learned, but the problem is that I don't want her to become bored or sour with what we're doing.
So far I've mixed it up a little by taking some advice I got from someone on the Fugly Horse of the Day message board. After longeing, we always do a little showmanship to cool off. That way she's developing a skill while cooling out, and using her brain in a different way. I also bridled her briefly last night before we longed (though I took it off for longeing).
Here are some ideas for the next things we could do:
Longeing with Saddle
Longeing with Side Reins (need to get bridle adjusted first)
Does anyone have more ideas?
The barn owner asked me again last night when my first ride was. I told her what I've been saying to everyone - probably not until fall at least. And then I found myself thinking that it was almost too bad she's too young now, because Halo is so quiet and easy that I don't think riding is going to be a big step when the time finally comes. Also, even though some of my other recent riding experiences have made me a bit nervous, I'm not worried about riding Halo. I know her personality well enough that even if she's unpredictable and bratty, I know her basic buttons and what to push to get a whoa or calm a spaz out. But fall 2009 at the earliest it shall be! She's still small, and we have tons to accomplish on the ground in the meantime to get her prepared for the August 8th show.
As stressful as it is for me, the #1 priority I need to set for myself after working with Halo is getting my butt in the saddle on one of the older horses and getting back in shape for riding. Why is it sometimes so hard to take what I know I need to do and actually do it?