July was another epic month with Mickey. He’s gotten stronger, steadier and more consistent with every ride – and nearly every ride was accompanied with awesome moments of goosebumps.
We started practicing test riding for our August show (more on that in the next update!) and I realised I had a lot to work on when it comes to preparing for all the movements in a test. It took a couple weeks but towards the end of the month the ring rustiness started to disappear and we started to do the tests in a smooth, flowy motion.
This month we also had the visit from the horse psychologist and horsemanship expert Richard Maxwell who was absolutely BRILLIANT! He loved Mickey and complemented his good rhythm, quickness to learn and cooperation. They built rapport really quickly and you could see the calming influence Richard had over Mickey immediately. He did a bit of in hand work to get his focus right and then lungeing work as well. Then it was my time to get on as Richard instructed me how to use a new rope aid to get Mickey on front of my leg more. Needless to say Mickey definitely went on front of me from shock – poor thing didn’t know what was going on haha! After a few consistent goes he started to respond to my leg the way he did to the rope aid – it was incredible! He felt like a horse that was two hands taller and more powerful, and he was taking me with him – all I had to do was sit and enjoy! This training aid is safely tucked away in my tack box now and I bring it out whenever I feel like he needs an extra nudge.
Last but not least, Richard brought out another training aid which was aimed to help Mickey’s way of going further. And boy did it work! Mickey literally transformed into a Grand Prix horse on front of my eyes and I was so excited I was jumping up and down from joy. Next I was able to get back on Mickey after this training tool had been used on him and OH MY GOD he felt like heaven on earth! I was literally floating high up in the sky for the next few days and best of all, I’ve managed to recreate that same feeling many times since! Onwards and upwards now – we are ready to take it to the shows!