First let me explain the 4 sections of this challenge, as I forgot to mention it last time. I have 2 horses, to I divide it into 2 sections already. But then I have to play on the ground and riding with both horses, thus splitting each horse's half in half again. I hope that makes sense. :)
So yesterday I played with Sharlie in the empty arena and completed her half of the challenge. I started with Sharlie because we are more advanced (playing Level 3/4) so it was much easier to get creative with an empty arena.
So we began with online, on the ground. I have started to use the "Tag" method to get Sharlie engaged. But not willing to over-use it, I have also started to do the Falling Leaf pattern with some stick to me, and a bit of Sideways game for flavor. ;) It went very well and Sharlie is doing great online. I think I'll start working towards my Level 3/4 Online, and use the money I get for Christmas to pay for it.
Then came riding. Now on Friday night I rode Sharlie with a saddle and did some walk, trot and a bit of canter, though the canter didn't work out because she bucked. We are slowly going to work through that, bit by bit. But Friday night did not count, because there were poles in the arena! So even if I wasn't using the poles, the arena was not empty. So Saturday is the freestyle I am counting.
I rode bareback, in a halter and lead rope. For those who have been following our journey for a while, you know that riding Sharlie bareback at a gait faster than a walk has been difficult. But yesterday we trotted in circles, figure 8's, ovals, turns, curves, etc... We did a million transitions and ended with a fun back up out of the arena. It went quite well, despite Sharlie's ears being back.
Another piece of information is that SHARLIE IS ON A DIET!!! :D No grain for ms. FAT-FAT-FATTY! The vet said she could easily lose 100 pounds...I think more. But she is looking good! Her fur has become a soft fuzz and her neck isn't marked with fat wrinkles anymore. :) I'll keep you updated on her diet.
Thats all for now! Stay Savvy!
Julia, Sharlie & Casper