It's been a real scorcher this last week and everyone, human and horse alike, seems to be happy with the last blast of summer. I've been playing with the liberty again with Chapiro, working mainly on free shaping (successive approximation) where I'm looking for the tiniest hint of him trying to stay with me and rewarding it. It makes no sense to an onlooker but it's already bearing fruit in a small way. There is a small part of Chapiro that stops him from 'giving' himself to me, on a lunge, lead or ridden he can cope but set him free and he can't make the link but it's definitely improving.
Today he was a little 'alert' in the school but by relaxing the neck and asking him out and down a little he finally chilled. We worked on my current ridden project of separating the aids into voice, weight,rein/leg. I started 100% with voice as that was the easiest to transfer from ground to ridden work but now I'm transferring this, firstly, to hand/leg aids (hand says stop, leg says go etc) and then to weight aiding. Ultimately it will be a light weight aid but having a three fold aiding system should theoretically give me a lot of choice when training different movements.
I've been deliberating about Moo lately, to the point that it's rendered me useless! The fact that he got tight and sore again after the canter work has really bugged me, maybe it was nothing to do with the canter work but the fact that it winds him up and stresses him makes me think it was. We haven't really done any ridden work for a couple of weeks but this morning I figured that I should just keep the walk and trot work going and just wait and see.
He is such a star that boy, no work for a few weeks and I slapped on the bareback pad and away he goes. I had a real emotional surge sitting on him, I just love this horse. We worked on lots of lateral work, playing with half pass and pirouettes and I didn't sense any soreness or tight areas...onwards and upwards then.