Canter sideways!

We have done our first sideways in canter! I got on Juliano bareback and we have practised sideways in trot then circled a bit in canter. After Juliano's canter got slow and rhythmic I thought "Why don't we try sideways in canter" and guess what Juliano did - few steps to the side. We are taking baby steps, J only does 2-3 stides sideways and then I ask him to continue cantering straight on and we stop. After 3 successful tries I got off Juliano and allowed him to go back to eating grass. He came back in few minutes for some scratching and yawning :) One thing that hit me today is how sideways slows the horse down. Once we started doing sideways in trot Juliano's canter got slower. Today after sideways in canter Juliano didn't rush of he did the opposite - went back to a walk when asked.


Couldn't be more proud...

Today's freestyle ride was one of the calmest we've ever had. We started off really slow, doing full zone 1 turns with hindquarters not moving. Then, sideways in walk and trot. Once Juliano delivered a precise sideways in trot we could move on to canter. As we were both very calm and focused on one another we could do graceful walk to canter transitions and after that come back to a walk. After few circles of walk-canter-walk I asked Juliano to come back to a walk after 4 strides of canter and we made it! I was super excited and proud. For some horses it is easy to come back to a walk but for us it was always THE most difficult thing - to stop. We never made it in 10 strides let alone 4. It was always: canter, please come back to a walk, 30 strides later and we are still cantering or doing a choppy trot. It was an amazing feeling when Juliano just calmly glided back to a walk.



We are finally starting to progress at liberty. For Juliano round corral served only one purpose "Get in and run. Run like crazy". Every time we tried anything at liberty J would get on a circle and panic. Before I got him he used to be exercised in a round corral and a lot of pressure was put on him. This is why it took us ages to start doing correct changes of direction. Before, as Juliano was chased in the corral, he used to turn away from human to make a change. In order to correct that we wend back on-line in the round pen and took baby steps. Every time J would panic and turn away I waited and asked for hind-quarter disengagement. Today I took the halted of and everything came together. We did transitions from trot to walk, walk to halt, walk to canter. After that Juliano was hooked and we started playing with changes of direction. To my surprise Juliano did great. He didn't turn away, he was focused on me and didn't panic. It was amazing :)


Trailer lodaing

Juliano is an expert on trailer loading now! It took us 4 sessions and now he loads and unloads at liberty. Once he is inside it is quite hard to get him out, I guess he feels quite comfy there. This time he even wanted to get into the passenger seat :) At the end Tom tried a new loading technique with J called "Follow the hay". We all had great fun!