Praise be! It got up to around 50 yesterday, yay yay!!:) Had no stalls to do, just the Princess and the Squeaky boy to ride. Rode Audrey first, and she was just a little rock star:) It was still a little chilly; barely 40. She was great, though. I've started riding her in spurs due to the fact that she has just SACKED OUT adding a 3rd day to the schedule. I was only riding her twice a week, but her owner bumped it up to 3 times a week and it's really made a positive difference with her. Cantered a smallish figure 8 and did simple changes through the walk, and she nailed it on the first try.
Tiki felt fabulous. I tried a single jointed D-ring with copper rollers with my regular noseband bridle. I'm seeking a bit I can use with a regular cavesson that my horse will not gape his mouth wide open with (that really sounds like bad english, yikes!). The trot felt amazing. He was forward but not fast, his butt followed his shoulders beautifully, his neck was soft and bendy, and he was nicely flexed at the poll without being overflexed. Yup, that's the way day 4 usually feels:) Circled, reversed several times, but didn't drill on anything since I planned to jump at height. He felt good in the bit. I cheated and looked at his shadow a few times, and his mouth was open and the jaw crossed a few times. He did NOT yank at me at all, and he never made me PULL on him. Sometimes while jumping, he gets a little bit like a freight train, and I have to PULL to slow him down. Not so on Thursday! Canter transitions were picture perfect both directions. I did feel as though I had to ride him a little more aggressively at the canter to keep that body correct; he did try to fall in a few times with his shoulders. Not sure if that was bit related, or if he just felt like falling in today!
Had the same little "course" set up from Wednesday. Stack oxer on the outside, 2 inside diagonal verticals, one outside vertical. Jumped a crossrail 4 times and he was slow, jumped from the base, didn't miss a beat. Hopped off, raised the crossrail to 3'3. Everything else was 3'. I've never jumped him 3'3 outside of a gymnastic. This was just a plain, big 'ol vetical with no placing poles, cavs, etc. Since I'm a big chicken, warmed up a figure 8 pattern over the 2 inside diagonals, and it felt OK. He was a little lazy once with one of them, and I saw my distance short 3 out of 4 times. Ugh. I hate that. I think I just needed a little more canter; we were too slow. Did my outside/inside/outside/inside course; was a little nervous to the 3'3, but went for it; too short, and he rolled the pole off. It really was MY fault, not his. Reset it, then tried again. The 2nd time, I was WAY off to the 3'3, and even though he cleared it, I got way left behind and hit him in the mouth:( Regrouped, and went around a final time, twice. That was better. I critiqued myself as I went along, and picked up more canter, kept my canter rhythm by counting out loud, concentrated on closing my leg at the base and following his mouth, and not letting that shoulder dip in the corners. FINALLY nailed the distance to the 3'3 the 4th time I jumped it, so quit there. 4 jumps, 8 jumping efforts, and only 1 short distance; to the stack oxer. That's progress!
IEA show tomorrow at the local show grounds; this is a makeup show for last Sunday. It's in the large covered ring, and the temp's supposed to be in the 50's, but rain will be coming in. Will let y'all know how it goes!:)