So, I was NOT planning to ride today. I got home early this morning after a friend's bachelorette party last night. It was fun, definitely! This wasn't one of "my" Sundays to go to the barn and ride, so when I was given tickets to a Braves baseball game, I gave them to my husband. He took our 7 year old son, so I was left alone by myself!:) Of COURSE I went to the barn, lol. Celeste and Kyle had taken their horses to a barn down south to enter a small schooling show. Nicole had to work, so I wasn't expecting anyone to really be there except for Mark and Joyce. There wasn't. I pulled Tiki out of his stall to groom him, and Joyce informed me he's been in the last 2 nights due to thunderstorms. I tacked him up, wrapped his legs, and didn't decide until I led him out of the barn where we were going to ride. Didn't want to ride in the upper ring because I don't want to mess up the leveling that's been done in preparation for the footing; it has been raining the last few days, so my options were a solo trail ride, catch all the mares and contain them to ride in the back pasture, front pasture, or small arena. Decided on the front pasture, but had to stick him in a stall down below really quickly while I pulled the mounting block and a jump out of the ring. As I set the jump, I contemplated what I wanted to accomplish. I definitely wanted to jump, because we'd flatted most of the week. I ended up setting the jump 2 holes higher than we'd ever jumped, making it a whopping 2'3. Set it as a crossrail so we could warm up, and then the tentative plan was to make it a vertical once we'd warmed up.
Got on and got in 2-point. He trotted pretty fast, cantered a few times, then settled in. Halted, backed, then asked for the posting trot. All I wanted was straight, and no giraffe neck. I squeezed and released on my reins just asking him to soften the jaw a LITTLE bit. To the right, I used my spur to really push him over and keep him from 'lying on his side' as we turned. He felt good. Worked hard both directions, really using my leg to keep him properly bent and under me, and tried to feel his neck round the correct way. He felt pretty damn good today.:) Cantered left, and he was balanced and rocking. Cantered a pole, then a tight turn, then down the long side of the fence all the way to the road. Still cantering, I cantered across a diagonal and attempted a flying change right which I knew was next to impossible at this point, ha ha. Stranger things have happened, though! No suprise, no lead change, but I did get a clean simple change to the right, yay! Worked on not letting him get crooked or swap, and he was great! Halted again and did a totf and it was quite nice, suprisingly.
Went to trot the crossrail and few times, and he was lovely and straight. Our challenge has gotten to be mostly AFTER the jump, where he wants to put his head down and pull in whatever direction. Used my spurs to keep him straight, and used my seat to help my hands keep his head from yanking the reins. Decided to let him canter a few times because he REALLY wanted to , and it was GREAT! After going over the crossrail about 7 times, I dismounted and raised it. Let him see it and he didn't care at ALL. Went to approach at the trot, and ASKED for the canter. He obliged, but got in all wrong, and rather than sit back and help him, I said "Oh shi#" and leaned forward. Nice, real nice;) Of course he knocked the pole off HARD, so I had to get off and fix it. Tried again, got a better distance, and he jumped HUGE and ROUND. I so wish I could have seen him, because he felt amazing. Did the jump both ways at the canter a few more times, and ended when he landed the right lead and I was able to continue cantering around a corner and he felt very light and balanced on it.
Wow. It was just SO nice. I felt GREAT. I'd cleaned my half chaps Friday, and man, those suckers stuck like GLUE today, lol. My leg was tight, my heel felt wonderful, and I was just happy to be at the barn and on my horse:) Gave him an anti-fungal bath and let him graze next to the upper ring in the thick grass while I put everything up and cleaned my bridle. Once he was dry I rubbed MTG on his hind legs where that rain rot still hasn't gone away, put his fly sheet on, and put him in his stall with plenty of hay and fresh water. Yup, I'm a happy camer.:)