I've never ridden a horse so pure as this one. I wish I could put into words how gratifying it is to work with him, it is just these tiny moments of pure magic that make me so excited for what we can achieve together! A lot of the work we have done together has been lots of little pieces so far, but they are slowly starting to come together to form a whole - and it is so wonderful to be a part of.
I have had to remind myself not to run before we can walk, to build a solid basis before moving up to the next part, the next gait, the next teaching. Sometimes it's hard to do with him because he is so talented and able to do a lot of things very naturally (and he gets bored very quickly so we are always having to change it up)- but he is still such a baby and learning to carry his body with a rider is still very new to him. And with a horse like him, it has helped us to get farther, faster by making sure we achieve a very solid understanding of each movement, and each gait before moving on to the next.
I feel like I can say with confidence that we have gotten to that point completely at the walk. He can carry himself with collection and balance with little to no rein contact, maintain stellung and inside hind leg, his lateral work, the sidepass, travers and renvers are incredibly light and his response time is lightning fast. He listens to my weight and the entirety of my leg, not just my heels, and is sensitive to shifts in that. I am so happy with how beautifully he reached this level, and how joyfully he participates in learning all these things. Working with a horse like this under saddle is something I have always wanted to do, and never had the chance til now (although I have 3 more up and coming now, because when it rains it pours, right?) and I am loving every second of it.
Photography by the wonderful Eve Freedman.
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