I have now ridden Mia 7 times and she hasn't offered a single rear or buck, I think that is awesome for a horse being started/restarted! She is taking everything in stride, gaining weight and now has a good set of manners installed. She can be led next to another horse when being brought in and out of the pasture, she can now stand quietly and wait while I do some task and stands decently in crossties. Give it a few more weeks and no one would know that she was pulled out of a pasture with virtually no training!
Ride six introduced a new change, I changed from the loose ring french link that I had for the boys over to a copper mouth full cheek snaffle. A loose ring wasn't my first choice for her but I couldn't find the bit I wanted to use so it was working in the interim. It only took me 2 weeks to actually find the full cheek among all of my "stuff" and am glad I finally did. She rode so much better in the full cheek over the loose ring, she was much more confident in the contact and her steering was SO much better. For her, it was a great switch.
Ride 6 consisted of also introducing a new concept, sidepassing. I am trying to introduce something new every ride and since I have accomplished so much in so few rides, I think I am being successful lol. We started with some turns on the haunches and shoulders and while the shoulders need work, they are coming along and at least she understands the concept. It took several attempts to get a sidepassing step but eventually she seemed to get the idea. We also attempted some figure eights and even a baby serpentine and I was quite impressed at the steering capacity I suddenly had, so much better than those first few rides! I kept the ride short, as I have been doing, and after some trotting figure eight's, called it a night.
RB4 came over for ride 7 and aside from a big spook while we were tacking up (one of the barn cats running between her legs which resulted in a small rear/surge forward) it was an uneventful ride. Just how I like them! She was much better about sidepassing and while there is definite forward and backward motion, there is also true sideways motion. Mia was also much better with steering and with a little correction, we were able to walk and trot an actual circle. Progress success! I was able to get her to trot 3 laps without having to kick her to keep going, something we hadn't accomplished yet, and we attempted and got a shoulder in at a walk. Nothing like putting those new movement buttons to use.
I finished the ride by showing off Mia's new lunging skills, I am quite proud of her progress already. She halted, walked, trotted and reversed on command without careening out of control. She conveniently forgot how to halt after her trot again but a bump with the lunge line corrected her so it is just a matter of time. Other than that she behaved like a model citizen.
Tonight will be ride 8 and I think I am going to put some poles down to start doing some real steering exercises. Walking and trotting around the arena is boring since she is quite okay with that concept and doesn't need correction, it is time to introduce something new. The vet comes out on Thursday for the boys, hopefully I will have sound horses and the TWH can go back to work!