Rode Tiki Tuesday. Didn't longe first, and used my new gear! I'm actually thinking he needs less bit than the french link D-ring I have him in, so I'm looking to get him a plastic double jointed "Happy Mouth" bit, which is actually apple flavored! I don't know; it almost seems like he just doesn't need much in his mouth. Heck, we were FLYING up that hill Saturday, and with just a drop of my seat and a light tug on the reins, he came right back to me. Thinking of new possible saddles to try for him; there's someone at the barn that has a few different saddles she's going to let me try on him, so I can find one that's the PERFECT fit.
So, we went to our usual pasture, and I mounted up without the safety net of the longe line. I was wearing FULL SEAT breeches, and let me tell you, those are God's gift to riders!! I've never worn them because they were given to me by a man, and they just never fit me very well. I've lost enough weight that they do fit now, but they still don't fit GREAT because they're not women's breeches. However ... they lock you into the saddle like nothing I've ever felt in my LIFE!!:)
Anyway, warmed up at a walk, and he was perfect. Asked for some leg yields, and he gave them to me easily and on the first try. Walked some spirals, and he was quite good. Up to the trot, and he was so quiet that I felt like I needed my spurs. I think when I used them before, it was HOT, and his tummy hurt. He's been more forward the last month or so because his tummy DOESN'T hurt, and it's been so cold and windy. He was quiet I think because he's just starting to get with the program. Worked on really riding into my hand, and trying to imagine his back coming up and strengthening. Did some nice figure 8's, working on really bending through the turn, straightening through the direction change, then bending in the new direction. Finally, he was starting to feel as though he could hold himself through the turn and not lean and waterski around it. Walked, asked for left lead canter, and it was GOOD! He's getting more and more prompt with his walk to canter transition, and I didn't have to crank on my outside rein while he cantered totally sideways, which has ALWAYS been our thing. He actually felt UNDER me, and straight. Cantered a big circle, then halted and backed to get his hind end underneath him. Asked for right lead, no. Asked again, no. Halted, backed, asked, no. Trotted to straight away, REALLY pushed his hind end with my left leg, and he got it. Again, he was so STRAIGHT! I cantered through a corner, and walked before he swapped behind. At that point, I dropped my reins and stirrups to let him know how good he was, and he was DONE! Very good ride, he felt wonderful.
Oh! How could I have forgotten? When we were trotting our figure 8's, I dropped my stirrups so I could more effectively ask for the correct bends. This was the first time I've ridden him without stirrups, and IS a big deal for me, because I've done way more teaching than riding the last 6 years (since my son was born). So, overall a super day for both of us! Now I just hope today is just as good.:)