The summer and fall have been quiet on the blog front mainly due to the repetitive nature and slow progress of our rides. For about 6 months, it seemed every ride with Guinness was a huge struggle. He resisted flexing. He resisted collecting. He resisted transitions. He even started resisting contact again.
In short, he was a difficult creature to coax into the work. Soundness was there, but the strength and mental fortitude was lacking. It was a completely new problem for me, and one that took a lot of thought and, honestly, strength to tackle.
At times, I considered his suitability for the work. I wondered if his brain just wasn't cut out for the exacting and repetitive nature of dressage. I thought maybe problem solving just wasn't in his tool box.
Very slowly, things got a little better.
Pig felt a little more flexible. He slowly stopped throwing constant fits. He started working confidently into the bridle almost every day. Collection started to feel real. He developed a trot I could sit. One day, the work just clicked for him. He had the strength to collect and push, and the mental fortitude to take a correction and keep trying. Every ride started to have positives. Suddenly the brambles were clearing from our path forward.
The biggest changes happened for me. My mindset of riding changed. I no longer see myself as a rider. Instead, I'm a trainer. My tool box is full of enough exercises and fixes that I no longer feel lost when my horse makes a mistake. That confidence is translating to my horse.
We're flying forward now, and I couldn't feel better about our progress.
Thanks to everyone for bearing with us for the last few months!