My last two rides have been AWESOME! The loose rein really did the trick. She got her head down and really tried to listen. I put the polos on the front and she had way too much front action though and didn't want to engage her hind end.
Today's ride was GOLDEN. No polos, and she was such a good girl. She circled without rushing, and she had some nice, easy, relaxed canter work. I was so proud of her!
The trick is to praise, praise, praise. Amber is very praise oriented. She likes to hear she's doing the right thing. Then she relaxes.
She also gave my friend Mindy, who hasn't ridden since she was a small child, a quiet little ride today. I lead them around and Amber was as quiet and mellow as you could wish for. She'd be an awesome leadline horse for kids.
Honestly, she has been nothing but wonderful from the moment she got to the barn. They are building a bigger tack room out of an area that was used for storage, since the current tack room is quiet small. They're going to use the old tack room as the new feed room, and I think the tiny feed room will be the storage room.
Amber was totally calm despite lots of banging and the loud power saw. Didn't bother her a bit.
Also, at first I thought the way she walks up to me in the pasture might be because she's associating someone coming to catch her with going in to eat, but Andrea said she honestly thinks Amber really is just that friendly and likes to interact with people. I think so too. It really does make me feel good when she sees me coming and perks up her ears and starts to walk over to me. Whoever bred her definitely gave her a GOOD start. Despite having a rough owner later on, she was started out the right way. That makes a huge difference.
Also, she keeps a very neat stall. She is not a mess maker at all. I was glad to find that out, because having had to clean stalls of horses who are super messy in their stall, I know how irritating it can be for the one who cleans the stall (in this case, Andrea).
And more good news, she lost that hay belly! She's a little chubby, but it's winter so that's a good thing because she needs a little extra fat. Everyone keeps telling me how pretty they think she is, and I'm just too proud of her. I think she will be a very popular horse out at the barn, and I'm glad for it because nobody likes to have the horse everyone hates! And we all know that EVERY barn has that one horse that nobody likes (or at least, except their owner).
My friend took pictures today, and when she gets the chance she's going to send them to me, so I will post those when I get them! :)