This clinic was the second one that I’ve participated in with Gracie. She is such a sweet mare, and I really can’t say enough good things about her. She connects with humans very quickly, and will try anything that’s asked of her. From the ground, she can easily be sent out on a circle in either direction, and she continues to improve on moving forward or backward, and stopping, in time with my feet. She is very good at carrying a float in the lead, as well as in the reins, and she picks up a soft feel with no issue. Gracie yields her hind well, and transitions from walk to trot smoothly. She’s capable of holding a fairly slow jog or an extended trot equally well. One thing she’s still getting the hang of is transitioning from trot to canter/lope. To help her with this, I’m utilizing the “seashell” exercise, wherein she is required to yield her hind and then her front in quick succession, without falling forward, and without ending up behind me. Using the flag for this exercise has been especially helpful. Under saddle, she’s pretty sensitive to leg and seat pressure. She is really good at staying focused while working, and she doesn’t call out to herd-mates or get very jumpy when another horse gets close. During one exercise this weekend, we paired up with other riders and their horses to get close enough for the other rider to reach over and touch our horses. Gracie did really well, and only squealed when another horse tried to nip at her hind end. All in all, she is a fabulous mare, and I’m lucky to get to work with her!