I'm still glowing from last weekend. Having these great rides are exactly what Diego and I both need right now. This has really been a big year of ups and downs for us. I happened to think today that I've been blogging our progress for over a year now, so I went back and looked at what we were doing around this time last year. A year ago yesterday, Jan 4, 2009, we had just trotted under saddle for the very first time. I remember how tentative he was about riding with other horses. How he would stop and freeze up when they were close enough to pass us. How getting him to trot for 5-10 steps at a time was a big accomplishment.
Now, I can look back at last weekend, how he trotted along on a loose rein for several blocks at a time. How he OFFERED to pick up the trot again, and how happy I was to have such a forward-going horse who seemed to really enjoy being out and being ridden. How successfully he leapfrogged back and forth with another horse. How he actually did a pretty good job of holding it together for his first official ride start.
While I certainly didn't accomplish everything I was hoping to, we are most definitely getting there. Baby steps. One thing that has continued to amaze me is how our relationship has really blossomed and grown in the past few months. Dig has a softer look about his eye, and I've noticed that he's started to turn to me in moments of unsureity for guidance. Even small things, like remaining standing parallel to the fence when I walk up to feed, rather than turning to face me head on, and allowing me to scratch his back and withers over the fence are small improvements I haven't taken the time to appreciate.
Looking forward to the future.