Nothing crazy today:) Yes, it was warmer ... and yes, I still had to break ice from all the water buckets. I am SO ready for winter to be OVER!!! I think Alaska is one of the most beautiful states in this country, but there's a reason I don't live there;)
Anyway, warmed up with contact again today. He felt much better; flexed through the poll, walked forward (for him), and didn't jig. We did a bunch of small circles both directions, and I did flex him into my knee both ways. He felt really stiff LEFT today, oddly. I wish my poor boy wasn't so tight through his body ... I'll be interested to see how relaxed he is Saturday after actually going 5 days in a row riding him. He is definitely a horse that excels with plenty of work; he likes to have a job.
He was bummed because I actually brushed him today, lol. For the past 2 weeks, I've been doing the "blanket" groom, which translates to "It's freezing, I really want to get warm, you're wearing a blanket and can't possibly be dirty under there. So, I'm picking your feet, knocking the dirt off the visible body parts, and rolling with it. M'kay?" So, when I pulled his blankets and began with the curry comb, he kept biting air.:)
Anyway, sorry for the segue, back to today! Really worked hard on not over using my inside rein, and used my outside leg through our turns to keep his haunches from swinging. Did several large circles, some nice leg yields, and nailed a couple of BEAUTIFUL turn on the haunches. Had a nice left lead canter, reversed across a diagonal, and cantered right off the straightaway. I didn't counter bend him at all; just stepped out and he was lovely.
Trotted into a crossrail, and he almost stuttered in shock, ha ha! Came back the other way; great. Made up a little course of trot into crossrail, trot across diagonal over another crossrail, canter a 2'6 vertical, canter a NEW cav stack jump. This one is an oxer with a 3rd cav stacked on top. So, this one I can jump both ways, yay! It stands about 3'. Did it the first time trotting the crossrails and cantering the verticals, then kept going one more time, and cantered everything. He felt fabulous. Really focused on MY position; concentrated on landing in my 2-point and having a following, automatic release. I felt great, too. Ended fantastic!
Tomorrow should REALLY be nicer. Looking forward to it! The pic up top is one that one of the girls from Patchwork made for me. The longeing pic is from June in '08 when I got him, and the other one is from Monday.