What do you say when the ground has the most perfect, rain-softened, dustless footing and you're on a horse who willingly obeys your every cue? All I can say is ahhhh ... If I don't get to show tomorrow because of a winter storm that doesn't know spring has arrived in California, I will still have had a fantastic weekend.
Speedy G gave me a much needed boost to my confidence today. We've been working so hard, but we just haven't been able to get that true "connectedness" a good dressage team needs. Today, we had it in spades!
So what did he do right? EVERYTHING!
We started out by the shooting range where I got off and led. It's gotten to be such a dangerous section of the trail that I decided some time ago to just hand walk past the facility. The fence between the road and the shooting range is topped with barbed-wire which is at the rider's neck level. The pistols and rifles that they fire are very close, very loud, and fire in rapid succession. Not only that, but the shoulder is on a heavily trafficked road where cars easily travel 45 miles per hour. The range was in use today, and even though Speedy jumped hard a few times, I could tell that he appreciated me being on foot and he followed my leadership. Once we were past, he calmly let me hop back on and he moseyed on toward the highway crossing.
The rest of the ride went just as well. He listened to my little half halts as we came to the bridges we cross and then stepped lightly over the metal plates. He quietly jogged past groups of riders without slowing to stay behind. He calmly crossed our belly deep, slightly muddy river without a single hesitating step. And as we were on the final stretch home, doing a nice medium trot, I saw a limb on the side that meant we had to pass though a very narrow opening. With just a tightening of my core he slowed down his pace, but kept himself in a beautiful frame so that he was almost in passage. It was FANTASTIC!
The level of trust that Speedy G put in me today left me feeling an incredible sense of satisfaction. It was truly confidence building. Thanks, Buddy!