Both boys have been fantastic the last week! Tolo is taking everything in very well and goes on walks around the fields (1mile total around the edge, we walk it to warm up before heading to arena) while dogs run around us playing like it doesnt bother him a bit. His work continues to get better and better! He is even less 'bothered' by everything going on around him and is easier to keep focused during our rides each day.
Pony had a brief time where I thought he could spend his days grazing muzzle free before he all the sudden gained about 100 pounds over night and is now back in his eating jail cell. If only I could control my eating like I can my horses :) I feel like we are consistently getting really nice work by the end of our rides and I am better able to work him through things and ending our ride with some nice work. I can really feel a difference from when I first start warming up to about 3/4 of the way through our ride which is really encouraging! Along with our dressage schools we have been playing around bridleless more with our upcoming state fair show. I have even been riding him in the great outdoors! On Monday we were playing around outside bridleless when a swarm of bees all the sudden came after us! He was super good as I leapt off of him and tried swatting them away from him. After about 30 seconds of me fending them away (including me throwing my helmet off and praying he didnt take off because there were lessons going on in arena) he was calmly grazing about 20 feet away (right where I tried leading him to in order to get away from them!). It was so nice to be on him when that happened!
I am getting super excited for next year and our dressagey adventures. Already looking at pretty blingy brow bands (every 2nd level pony needs one right?!) and getting some scores towards my bronze medal. He will also be able to participate in end of the year All Breed awards if we can make it to enough shows (aka have the insane amount of money it takes to do these things!). Although we didnt make it to Devonwood this year it WILL happen next year. I hope to qualify and compete him at league champs at 2nd level, get my 1st level scores at USDF recognized, hopefully test the waters at 2nd also, and qualify/compete at regional champs! A lot to do that is for sure! I am also hoping to do a little dressage boot camp this winter where I take a lesson a week (or every other week) for a month (or two depending on which I choose). I need to do a little saving first but it would be fun to see how much more progress we would make. I figure if we can make this much progress with one a month we should get a lot done if we have one every week! Who knows, maybe come next show season he will have cute pony changes?!