I finally rode Hugo last night. I think the last time I rode was in June, due to the whole house sale, moving, buying new one business. It feels like I lost the whole summer to that as a matter of fact. But, now we are settled in so it's time to get back to business as usual and enjoy the tail end of summer.
EB was there during my ride, as she had taken all the tack home to clean and well, I kinda needed it to ride. So it was great to have her company and also helped to discuss where he was at. Hugo is doing great! She has been working diligently with him in my absence and it shows. So, it was time to up the ante and see what we got.
EB was having fun watching and listening to me explain my ride and training techniques. We did some bending work, walk, trot, and then canter. Both EB and I were shocked when Hugo instantly picked up the left lead canter the first time I asked. That is a first ever. I have only ever once before gotten the left lead on him, and I was an exhausted sweaty mess by the time it happened (so was he). EB hasn't ever gotten it while riding him, but has gotten him to pick it up a couple times on the longeline. At any rate, we were both stoked. The big boy has such a nice uphill canter that I could ride it all day.
Moving on, we started working at transitions within the gates and stretching down into contact (stretchy trot). Hugo was, understandably, very confused at first, and typically broke gate or tried to canter. But he's such a smart boy that he figured out what I wanted within a few minutes and we had some nice work within both the walk and trot.
After that, I was feeling really good about where he was at, and feeling in the mood to JUMP! So, with a giant grin on her face, EB excitedly put up a tiny 18" ex and we popped over it a few times at the walk and then the trot. Hugo was a saint, and I gave EB the all clear to start doing this with him, as well as lots of left lead canter transitions, during her rides. I don't think I've ever seen her so excited about something. Next time she comes out to watch me ride, I will have to remember to bring my camera so that she can snap some photos.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!