I left off with Willow last Friday and she had the next four days off. Saturday and Sunday I was busy and didn't have time to ride her. Monday was a lesson night at the barn and then Tuesday was almost 100 degrees. I don't particularly enjoy riding when it's that hot so instead of riding I brought Willow in from the pasture, hosed her off, and then hand grazed her while she dried a little bit. She came in so quietly, stood totally still while I hosed her off, and was generally very calm. I wasn't sure if it was the hot weather or if it was due to her settling in.
As it turns out, she has come out like that every day this week. Yah! Wednesday night I rode her with Tarra and Mystic. Tarra hopped on her and had the same general impression as I've had about where she is at in her training. Tarra commented that she felt similar to how Mystic was when he was between first and second level. She's a little bit wiggly and not sure she really wants to work that hard. Our ride was not quite as good last night, but it wasn't bad.
Next Thursday will be a month and I've committed to keeping her for a month before making a decision. After having a couple good rides I decided that I am going to push her a bit this week to see if we are truly making progress or not. As much as I enjoy riding dressage I also like to get out of the arena and want to do it on a safe willing horse.
This morning I hopped on her at the barn and rode her over past the arena out to to hay fields. I've done this a couple of times before but previously she has been difficult to mount and reluctant (i.e. throwing a fit) to walk over to the arena. In contrast, today she stood quietly while I mounted and we waited for a friend. She then walked nicely over to the arena and led the way around the hay fields, even through the ditches. She was nice and relaxed once in the arena and only pooped twice during our ride. I'd say this is all major progress, especially since she has come out consistently quiet the past few days.
I'm hoping to take her on a trail ride this week to see how she will handle that, and I'm interested to see if she will walk around the hay fields with out a friend. I'm honestly surprised it has taken this long for her to relax but she is acting much more like the horse I was expecting to have.