So, last week when my dogs got out of the yard through a mysteriously open gate? Apparently, that was a dry run for two days later, when the gate was open again, and the neighborhood meth heads had stolen my iPod from my car and my bike from the carport. The iPod was a four-year-old nano, and the bike was ten years old, so I'm more irritated than anything. At least I saw the open gate before the dogs got out again, and now it's padlocked. All three of my dogs blissfully slept through the burglary. They're very sweet and completely useless.
My new goal, set forth in lesson #6, is to get Willow loose as a goose in front at all three gates. Willow would much prefer to be tight and pull-y about half the time. In the past I've always ridden horses that wanted to curl behind the bit, which led me to be very soft and inviting with my hands so as not to lose the contact. Trainer Leslie says Willow is completely taking advantage of my soft, Sally-Swift-don't-crush-the-baby-birds hands. It's time to let her know in no uncertain terms that she cannot lean, pull, or snatch at the bit. It has been a major mental adjustment for me, but after a week I think I'm finally on the right track.