We were a bit anxious on Tuesday night, our first attempt without Anne present. But her voice is still audible in our heads and we plowed ahead. I worked him some on the lunge to be sure he was listening and then Allison ground drove him. That helped to clarify things for her and to understand why we were doing it. Then she got on. He's not perfect, he doesn't stand perfectly still, it took us 3 or 4 attempts but then he did stand perfectly still, didn't move off and waited for her to tell him to walk. I kept them attached to the lunge for safety's sake and to get her to relax. And then she said she was ready and I detached him. At first I walked with him but he was better when I stepped away and let them carry on. He had a beautiful free walk, little to no swishy tail and a long neck. They did their serpentines and he kept moving his feet. She was able to change up his pace at the walk and he was perfect so we called it a night, tears running down my face.We actually did it.
Last night was the same thing although we got a later start than had planned. We gave him every chance to come apart but he didn't. I worked with him on the lunge while Allison rode Noah and that was a distraction. Then she rode him after Noah got put back in his stall. Thinking about it, not such a good plan and we won't do it that way again. He could have used that as a reason to let the evil out but didn't so that alone gives us more confidence. Luckily Sarah was there and captured the ride on video. Thank goodness we have our own documentary crew, it's our own version of reality TV, think we could sell ourselves and become famous? Things we realize, she almost forgot and let him pull his head down (we can't trust him enough for that yet) but caught herself and him and just carried on. Sammy gravitates toward the mirror and she needs to initiate that turn sooner. (Although the mirror is a good thing when you need to capture a loose horse. Don't ask me how I know.)
But here is the ride.