Mandy, may daughter, rode her first, she's been jonesin' to ride, so I promised her she could ride Lakota. It rarely goes well. Lakota is so sensitive, and Mandy has only ridden lesson horses. So there is frustration between the two of them. Mandy is asking something, and Lakota is saying "huh? I have no clue what you are trying to say, so I'll just stand here and do nothing". She doesn't fill in any blanks at all. Its actually kind of fun to put Mandy on her when she gets all cocky and thinks she can tell me how to ride ;-) So Mandy learned that she has to soften and relax her leg, not use her heels to ask for forward, keep her wrists straight and keep that straight line from "bit" to elbow (i.e., no spagetti arms), to look where she wants to go, to be clear and deliberate in her asks, and to keep her seat bones neutral or they will just go backwards around the roundpen. And to keep her focus or Lakota starts looking around for monsters.
I just wanted to make sure it really was Mandy and not Lakota, so I hopped on (no stirrups, I had my sneakers on) grabbed an old beat up helmet, and had a blast! Lakota was sooo good. There were some distractions, and she did just fine with "coming back" just by touching the reins. She moved of nice and softely, whoaed beautifully when I just stop riding. Then I did some serpentines, and OMG her bend was just GORGEOUS! I have never, ever gotten such a beautiful arc in her body from nose to tail before. It was one of "those moments" that you go WOW, this is IT! It was a touch sticker to the left than right, but still nice and a lot of try. So we repeated that about 3 or 4 times then I hopped off. I was just flabbergasted with how wonderful she was after 4 months and our last ride ending in such disaster. This girl can be an awesome horse given the right rider and enough time.