With Fritz, I have always been on guard due to the MANY times he’s thrown me or tried to. These last few months have been nothing short of extraordinary in regards to building my trust with him. From being able to ride him in a field alone at a canter a couple months ago, to a few weeks ago going to a clinic in a facility he’s never been to and behaving like a rockstar without lunging for 20 minutes first, to today. I didn’t even think of it until a friend I was riding with pointed it out. We were riding along in the outdoor arena (which is in the middle of one of the turnouts) while two loose horses galloped around the arena bucking and kicking. And while I could feel Fritz’s extra *hype* not ONCE did he do anything that I didn’t ask of him. We worked on shoulder in, half-pass, tempis, passage, piaffe, and stretchy trot (which is hard for me because you HAVE to let your guard down to be successful). And he was a perfect gentleman.
It’s human nature once you’ve been dumped by a horse as many times as I’ve been dumped by Fritz (with serious injuries) to never let your guard down and protect yourself. But I have been working really hard to not let that turn into tension in my riding (sometimes successfully, sometimes not). But today really shows me how much more in tune we are with each other, how much more I can trust him, and *I think* how much more he must trust me to keep him safe too.
I consider this a HUGE step in our riding and learning. Even more so than accomplishing something like 2 tempis. Onwards and upwards!