I had another great ride with Leah on Wednesday morning (No photos of those rides. These are from earlier this spring), and then I took her to a clinic, later that day, after work. At the clinic, we practiced ground tying, ponying other horses, & self-loading into tight, scary places. Leah did very well on every challenge.
Leah was happy and willing, calm and thoughtful. The trail miles have helped her quite a bit. After being placed in truly tight situations--cliffs, water crossings, bushwhacking, down-logs--she seems to have decided it's best to stay calm and not make matters worse.
What do we do now? At this point, I'll mostly be looking for more water crossings and better balance up and down the hills. I also need to start training her to neck rein. It's almost impossible to pony a horse behind when you can't neck rein the horse you're riding. I'll be reviewing YouTube videos first, playing around with different ideas here at home, and then I'm hoping Rebecca will do a clinic or two on it.
We'll also be starting Beautiful Girl in saddle. Her initial lessons will be tying for longer periods, trailering, ground driving, and carrying a rider. Rebecca is getting busier and busier, so I'm not sure how she'll fit me in, but here's hoping.