Today was my third day of being a working student for Gabriele Hooten, our dressage trainer. Octavian is settling in at her place nicely, and seems happy, he doesn't seem to miss his stable buddy of 15 years (they have rarely been apart, for a few months at the most) much at all, which is a relief to me. I was worried that he would become terribly depressed and we would have to bring him home.
So far I am really enjoying being a working student. We've already had two dressage lessons, the first we worked on bending (always!), and the second we applied what we had accomplished with bending and worked on getting him to really relax, come through, and use his back at the canter. We are taking steps back to work on basics that we seemed to have missed a couple of years ago. I love that Gabriele is honest enough, and knowledgable enough to realize this and make us take a step back and work on those sorts of things. I feel as if I am learning a lot, which is wonderful, because that is absolutely my favorite thing to do on a horse.
I really look forward to improving our dressage this summer and making it our main focus (we will still be trailering to Plain Dealing to take lessons with Molly and are of course working very hard on our fitness for the one star). Speaking of fitness, Molly has given me a new schedule to put Octavian on that is geared toward the CCI* in the fall. So far we've had great success with it, and I can tell that it is making a difference.
Hopefully soon I will return to post and have new pictures with a much improved Huxley and Octavian.