Apart from noticing how much more natural Martina looks in her barrel saddle as opposed to her Argentinian-made forward seat, I have to say that the pony looks much calmer. I think he prefers the larger saddle, surprisingly enough. It may be that the rider is more secure which makes him feel more secure. She is also relearning to ride with a looser rein, which the pony appreciates. When she rides with direct contact, he gets all flustered, when there’s just a little loop to the rein, he is far calmer and easier to handle.
The pony turns very nicely to the left but does not want to bend to the right. We will do a lot of flexing exercises to work on this. We use the barrel and cones for weaving, clover leaf patterns and other games. On Tuesday I put a jalapeno on the barrel and had her ride over, pick it up, carry it to the fence rail and put it down. The garden is right there! LOL. She likes that type of game and the pony seems to enjoy that more than circle after circle, though he is tolerating that as well.
Things are looking up.
3 days riding this week so far.