I've been caught up in a hive of ballet(first big solo Nutcracker-daughter), hockey(practice, more practice, and games-son), and Christmas, so I have been a slacker about posting. Good things have been happening though, and given the weather and the general level of busyness, we have been getting some decent work accomplished.
On the response training front things have been going well and I have been truly surprised by how easily Jet and the kids' pony Rose, have caught on to the concept of scary object and/or noise, put head down and/or approach and scariness stops. We have worked our way through plastic bags on a stick to popping umbrellas with much more to come. Really interesting how starting with moderately scary stuff, getting the response, and moving on to the truly scary has even worked with my super spooky pony.
Most of our riding has been in our teenie tiny indoor, so we have stuck with the basics of rider position, horse straightness, horse forward/back from the seat, and really worked on stretching down and OUT. The out being the hardest thing for Jet, but much improvement on that front in just a few weeks.
Also, my MIL was kind enough to gift me a subscription to Dressage Today for Christmas and I have been playing with some of the concepts excerpted from Beth Baumerts new book When Two Spines Align. Even just using the 4 exercises in the article, I have seen some big improvements in alignment, straightness, and body tone without much effort. Very interesting because this book is not touted as a "biomechanics" book but anything that improves the rider's seat/position is of course biomechanics. The concepts are presented in a a way reminiscent of Centered Riding using images and forces of energy. I have the book on order and am really looking forward to delving into more and many specifics. Full review on the way soon.
Wishing you a Happy New Year!