I am MORE than ready for Spring! I've had it with 20 degree weather:( Ugh. It's just stinking miserable around here; rainy, cold, and WINDY! I'm fighting hard with a cold, and I *think* I'm winning ... so far. Not sure.
Tiki was GREAT Sunday. Again, they messed up the classes. His first scheduled class of the day was a crossrail flat. Uh, no. Those kids are very beginner, and he just needs a good solid warmup from a varsity open rider. So, I told them "NO", he is a 2'6/2' horse, not a xrail/beginner horse (like I'd put on his sign up form).
So, he hung out for a few hours during the flat classes, then went in for a 2'6 o/f class. He was PERFECT, YAY:) His 2' girl unfortunately fried him a little bit. She was tall, nervous, and had a death grip on his face. She managed to get him to run out at his first warmup jump because she cut the corner so badly and rode him so backwards:( Good for him, though, he managed to get around the course despite his rider. As he walked out of the ring, I plyed him with peppermints. He was a little revved up leaving the ring. He should have been done there, but they had him in a xrail o/f class. THIS I was willing to entertain because he'd already been jumped around. I left it up to the rider's trainer. She wanted to try it. He was GREAT! It was his first xrail class, and he didn't put a hoof wrong, YAY:) Such a good boy. It was a nice demonstration of just LET GO and let the horse JUMP AROUND.
Gave him a few days off, and today (Thursday) was the first day I rode him. Wow. He was FRESH! I mean, hasn't felt this fresh in a LONG time:) Spent lots of time at the walk ... I mean, a LOT. At first it was on a loose rein, then I picked up contact. He HATES to walk on contact. He's got a GREAT free walk on a long rein, but contact at the walk is a hard thing for him. So, literally spent about 15 minutes walking circles, over a pole, over cavs set 9' apart, in serpentines, etc. When I finally picked up the trot, felt like I was posting a million miles a second. I worked on bending/letting go, half halting, and just relaxing. Trotted the same patterns I did at the walk, and finally he started to soften and relax. He was a little bucky; I think he may have gotten kicked in the flank because he had a spot there, and when I touched it he just about jumped out of his skin. So, I was just trying to be easy and slow since I suspected he may have been a little sore and ouchy. After about half an hour, he felt a LOT better. We were still "arm wrestling" a little bit, but things were going along just fine. Cantered right lead, went through the cavs, and circled over the pole. Good! Reversed, and worked on a left lead circle over the pole, and when he lifted his shoulder, bent to the inside, and totally softened his head and neck, I walked and quit there. Thinking I'll do hills tomorrow:)