Last night I had one of the best rides on him ever. He was SO good. He's really getting what I want from him. He's relaxing forward into the contact right from the start and listening to what I tell him. Sometimes I'll be asking for something and he's not doing it, so I'll tap him with the whip or something and he swishes his tail angrily, like dude, woman, I'm trying, stop nagging! Silly boy.
We trotted over poles some more. Most horses I've ridden, when trotting poles, tend to tense their necks and stick their noses up. Not River. He stretches and reaches with his head and neck.
Speaking of stretching... we tried a stretchy trot for the first time. And he did it!! It wasn't consistent and it wasn't perfect, but he got it. I asked him to follow the contact and stretch, and he did. If he lost it and came back up, I'd ask again for a stretch and he did it. Ah! Such a good boy!
Tacked up and ready to go:
Showing off his equipment: