Spent time with America tonight saddling her up then playing online to warm up for riding. She started out a bit impulsive online but quickly settled down and began connecting with me. Once we had a good connection going, we moved to the round pen for riding to work on trotting more than a few steps...the goal was a complete lap.
I have enlisted the help of a neighbor who is not a Parelli student but is kind and natural with horses and is a good rider (she used to be a jockey!!). I got on first so she could see what we've been working on and where we were. We warmed up by walking a nice, free walk on the rail in both directions and then America offered me a trot when I brought my life up!! We went about 1/4 lap and she stopped, I asked her to go again and when I brought my life up she began trotting again another 1/4 lap. Yeah...we have a go button!!
At this point, I got off and my neighbor got on with a goal of a complete lap without stopping. It took a bit of time and several starts and stops but America then offered 1-1/2 laps at the trot on the rail to the right without stopping at the gates or where I was standing outside the pen. WAHOO!! My neighbor lets her stop and rest and gave her lots of rubs and scratches!!
Next up was FTR to the left at a trot...America kept trying to turn and go back to the right. My neighbor abandoned the trot to the left plan and worked on a bit of direct without brace to get some "steering" going. Once America understood this, they went off to the left at a walk. Sheree left her alone unless she left the rail, then put her back. After a few repetitions, America was walking an entire lap without stopping or changing direction on her own. At that point, we called it quits with more rubs, scratches, and atta girls for America.
It was a great session and fun for me to watch someone else ride my horse so I could see everything. We have several more sessions planned to develop trotting and then cantering and if everything goes as smoothly as tonight did, we'll be cantering in no time.
My neighbor also complimented me on how nice a horse America is...that she's so willing and tries hard. She also said her trot is AWESOME...very smooth even at this early stage.