With horse training, it is probably a good thing when each day seems the same especially when there is still some potential wild behavior. At least there were no cowboy moments today. As she keeps to this calm behavior there will be less and less of a chance for backsliding.
We walked and trotted down the driveway and out onto the road for a quarter-mile. On the way back we practiced halts, which are working nicely; she stops square and she anticipates my lightest touch. My action for the halt is as follows: first I push my but deeper in the saddle, say “whoa”, and then pull one rein straight back to my stomach. If she doesn’t stop immediately I alternate reins so as not to let her head turn. Often from the halt I turned her back the way we had come turning every other time right or left. She anticipated the cues to stop and responded lightly about 95% of the time. Sometimes on these halts we practiced rein-back, a few times she performed perfectly, sometimes a couple of steps awkwardly, sometimes she froze up and wouldn’t move at all.
Recently I have started riding Dawn Treader with a halfbreed, which is a vaquero curb bit. She only carries it; I do not use it. For my hand cues, I use a light bosal which she wears as well as the bridle. Eventually, I will double rein using both the bosal and the bit. Finally Dawn Treader will graduate to just the bit. At least that’s the current plan. I am attempting to follow the old Californio reinsman methods.
Today we practiced utility movements: opening the gates from on her back, riding the pinwheel and straddling a log while we full pass down the length of the log. She is calm and doing very nicely. I really like these sensitive horses. No one would know by looking at her today that she has been extremely hot-blooded/emotionally supercharged.
I rode her with a snaffle bit. I wanted her to get a feel for it. She was mouthing it and feeling heavy and generally having a hard time paying attention to me. Her mind was on a bit. After a trail ride, I put on the bosal and pretty much went through the same training maneuvers as Dawn Treader. She is definitely not as hot-blooded as Dawn Treader I believe she will be really calm beautiful pleasant horse for someone.