In the meantime, I've been having a blast riding not only Ringo, but Kiki and Ky as well! Kiki has been leased out to my friend Robin, who actually bought my horse Sam from me a few years ago, and who is a wonderful and experienced rider. They've been doing great together, which makes me so, so happy. Robin has been away on vacation for the past few days, so I've gotten the ride again and have been very happy to feel the progress Robin has made with her.
Ringo has been going better than he has in a long time. He feels very relaxed, supple, and happy in the bridle. I'm delighted with the bit change I discussed a few weeks ago. It was an immediate night and day difference in his way of going, which hasn't faded in the weeks since the change. My dad was kind enough to come out and take some photos of us riding a few days ago, so you can judge his progress for yourself =) :
(Tongue out, Ringo's usual M.O.)
(Big smiles after some stellar changes across the diagonal - I think Ringo looks fiercely pleased with himself too)
(Oh hello, uphill canter! Too bad I've decided my hands need to be in my crotch for some reason)
(Man. I look stupid.)
(OK, admittedly, I got a little showboat-y here, and did a few one-handed changes, trying to channel my inner Reiner Klimke - good boy, Ray!!)
I think the uphill quality of his canter has improved drastically, as has the quality of his step behind. I, on the other hand, look a bit of a scrub... but that's what my lesson tomorrow will hopefully start to fix!
My dad repeated the favor this evening with Ky, whose lessor is also on vacation for the next few days. Man, this little horse is special. He'd had a couple days off and isn't ever pushed very hard on the flat with his current lessor, and he came right out of the barn late this evening (well, besides some major spooking, but no matter, haha) and went to work. His lessor has done a great job getting him into shape and he felt much fitter than when I rode him in May. I can't wait to start our adventure!
(Again, the hands in the crotch. Get your act together, Erickson!)
(Oh Ky, you so fancy! Meanwhile I look like a real scrub)
(Work it, ponayyy)
(I actually like my position here)
(here too! And he looks so uphill! Giving Ray a run for his money!!)
(My perfect carousel pony)
...But at the same time, I can't wait for him to be mine!!!