ok - let's see if this helps to get a visual. It is physically impossible for me to be the photographer and the one working Sammy (I value my camera way too much for that) but thought this would help. I worked him today with my saddle instead of the surcingle. He has not tried to drop and roll for several sessions so I thought my saddle might be safe. I ran the long lines through the stirrups which were run up. This put the lines down lower than with the surcingle but he seemed to handle it just fine.
This is where I started from. I tacked him up in the cross-ties and fed the lines through the stirrups, unhooked him then we're off. I'd rather start from here than lead him because if he did decide to drop and roll, I'm already in position to do something about it.
Then it's just a short walk (around the golf cart in the above picture and to the right) to the arena and through the gate.
Today we turned right and went along the fence line. But there is no real pattern or plan, just wherever the mood strikes me. I'm usually aiming for some shade. The days are getting shorter so why isn't it getting any cooler. Temperatures are still in the 90's and it's very unpleasant. Hot and humid, I'm over it!
Then we went in between the jumps that had been set for a gymnastic. It gives us something to aim for and a chute to guide us. It was a bit harder to steer with the lines lower but we adjusted. He had no problem going through these jumps in either direction.
Sometimes he pretends this blue thing is something scary. Today he jumped 2 feet sideways just to be silly but then just continued on.
Then we aimed for the standards with the ground poles between them. He didn't hesitate and walked right over them. He had to step big because there were actually 3 poles on the ground. I was very pleased with him today. The saddle didn't bother him a bit and going around and between the jump standards were no big deal.
Another visual, this is my view when we are doing our thing. Just pretend he's wearing a saddle and bridle.
And since we had to lead him back to his stall right by the mounting block, we took advantage. He was a bit bothered when Remy climbed up on the mounting block with Allison, he's just not ready for THAT dog and pony show yet. But Auntie Sarah gave him some good advice. Doesn't he look like a sweet little boy? This was right before he tried to see if she tasted good.
And this will be my view one day. I was leaning all over his back and aiming between his ears. He was a very good boy and we were done.
Look how long his tail has gotten! It's almost not even a baby's tail anymore. We're taking it slow but progress is being made.