1. I can't just rely on my outside rein to slow this pony down. I have to use my core. I watched a video on horsehero.com with a Tai Chi guy and another one with a "riding with your mind" lady. They both told their students to "slouch" or "bring your sternum down." Both the riders and I were like, What?! Slouch? I had an AH-HA moment when trying it myself. I thought about aiming my sternum toward my horse's ears and it automatically engaged my core and anchored my seat bones! Pretty cool! All that to say, that when I finally was tired of trying to slow Mia down with my outside rein and was like "Why am I putting up with her running around like a scalded rabbit (Amy-ism by the way, love it)?" I resolved to make her respect my half-halts and used my core to do them. IT WORKED! It was then that I remembered the similar feeling I've had on River. He responds much better when I turn him with my body in short little increments instead of just trying to pull him around with my inside rein. Mia responded much better to my half-halts when I used my entire body instead of just my outside rein. It seems like a more subtle approach, but now that I think about it probably is more obvious because I'm using all of my body weight and not just one hand. Does that make sense?
2. Using my voice is helpful! Mia is an overachiever. Where Flo is like "Do I have to?" Mia is like "Do you want this, or this or this or this?" I have been having a hard time getting her to relax and not jig or jump back into canter after a canter/trot transition or into the trot after a trot/walk transition. I used my voice when asking for the downward transition and she responded quickly and didn't speed up again. I'm not sure if using my voice helped relax her or if it better communicated what I wanted from her because she knows the cue from being on the lunge line or both. Whatever. It worked!
As I was walking her home, I thought "Mia is my little Teddy. He was a fireball too. I wonder if he had that same agressively eager to please attidude? If only Mims moved and jumped like Teddy..."
Mia might not have the best movement or have quite the "hops" like Teddy (one of my students saw a picture of Teddy jumping a brush fence and said, "That horse has mad hops!"), but she tries like Teddy. She will do well because she has grit. She has the attitude of a champion. This is something I can learn from Mia and Teddy. They say, "I may be small and I may not be perfect, but I will try hard, dig deep and do my best."