I have been completing missing out, and missing, the horse blogging community recently. Work has been nuts but we are finally fully staffed in HR so my work load is finally getting back to normal.
The other issue has been the weather and while I am glad that we are finally getting some rain, I'm not happy that it has been interfering with my riding.
Overall though things with Katai have been great! I just started to introduce trotting under saddle and I'm taking it slow because of the cool weather and the fact that I'm stuck in a huge open field that at times make the pony feel like she has wings. She has been excellent though and I have no complaints about her behavior. In fact she had her feet trimmed for the first time by someone other than me last weekend and she was a complete angel, just nervous even though I kind of thought she might be naughty.
Our other project has been getting her to work through her back. For one reason or another, either breeding or conditioning since shes a shorty and always has to stretch up to do horse things, she has developed a very high headset when trotting. She is nice and relaxed and swingy through her back at the walk but the trot is a whole different kettle of fish.
I'd had side reins on her quite awhile ago a couple of times but it was clear to me then that she wasn't ready as she started to curl a bit. Since then she hasn't worn them at all but since recently she has been trying to root the reins out of my hands I thought that I might be able to work on two birds with one stone :)
Here is what I got. She was obviously still tight through the back and trying to avoid the side reins but she also balanced herself sooooo well and started to really use her hind end. You can see from these pictures how tight she is through her shoulder so that is certainly something we will be working on but her natural balance had me grinning the whole time.
I think the plan is to work her in side reins again next time for a short time in both directions and see if she remembers what she learned this time and then we'll go from there. I want to work more on trotting under saddle and while I know it will take her awhile to become comfortable and balanced with someone riding her it feels like I'm riding a giraffe right now so I need to do it in combination with this to help her learn to use her muscles correctly.