Last night the whole group came out to ride :) We had a lot of fun.
I ended up saddling him to test out our new jumps. Unfortunately when I got to the barn I realized I had forgotten his bridle which I had taken home to clean! My friend offered her spare bridle which had a full cheek snaffle on it.
We gave it a try, and what a difference! I'm not sure if it was the bit, the past couple times bareback, but my boy was settled, even full of energy, and the subtly that we had with this bit was certainly nice! I'm wondering if I can find a nice dee or eggbutt in a three piece as he wasn't a fan of his tongue getting poked with the single joint.
Anyways, our ride was fantastic. We ended up jumping a 2'6 oxer and a really fun bounce combination! Even after all of that he still had a ton of energy so at the end we went on a cool down trail walk.
Chucked the saddle and rode without a bareback pad. Boy was absolutely fantastic though I'm a little sore from staying on his slippery round back. Even attempted to vault from the ground (friend dropped her scarf) but while I flailed and failed... he just stood there calm as a clam.
There were two things that really made me proud. One was a cat jumped out of the tall grass right under his feet and the only thing he did was a little jolt sideways to look at what had happened. No bolting, no spazzing and he just continued walking after that.
Second was it only took five minutes to let me rinse his front feet off! We'll get him used to that hose yet!
Two goals for the summer:
1. Get him to where I can bathe him completely while ground tied without panicking
2. Work on positive reinforcements for tying.
We're still going to work bareback a lot but so far, it's looking good!