Many apologies in the absence, I was out of town last week and wasn't able to post anything, read blogs or even hop on Facebook because I was so busy. Thankfully I am back and am in the swing of things so things are getting done.
I have ridden Kota a couple of times since being back and am extremely happy with his progress. Friday I rode with the intention of a normal ride but there was a super scary TARP(!!!!) covering our wood splitter. And despite Kota being turned out all day Friday with said TARP(!!!!), he obviously didn't see it until I was riding him. He first wouldn't even approach it but every time he would try to turn away I would make him face it. Every time he took a step backwards I would make him circle his haunches or shoulder several times so that it was more work to go backwards than it was to face the scary TARP(!!!!). Finally after about 15 mins of making it more difficult for him to not touch the tarp, he decided it was okay to touch the tarp. Though the first time he did I thought his elbows were going to touch the ground as he dropped his front end so low to the ground and was ready to bolt. He was really good though and didn't bolt and after a couple more convincings he decided to touch the tarp again.
We worked on trotting correctly while neck reining, did serpentines and halts before moving off into the canter. I will say, he has only been here a month and we have only done canter for a couple of weeks but he has really developed a nice canter (for him anyway). We were able to get both leads, though the right lead is still pretty sticky to get, and he is balancing well enough we were able to do the 3 circle exercise, a circle, straight for a third of the arena, circle again, straight to the end of the arena and circle again. It is a deceptively hard exercise to do correctly as the horse needs to stay balanced and rhythmic through the entire exercise. All in all things went very well. He even learned the elusive sidepass!
Am very excited about his progress, he leaves Thursday night so I am going to ride every day until he leaves. Here's to hoping he behaves when he goes home!