... and sometimes they don't:) I'm proud of myself; I've stuck to the plan this week! Monday was a no stirrups day. It was once again hard ... I felt pretty solid and decent, but my legs were sore Tuesday. I feel like I had a lot of roll to my leg; like they wanted to turn out like a ballet dancer's. Just rotation in my hips I suppose. Had a fairly decent w/t/c, practiced some no stirrups posting trot, and did set up a line with 2 poles; 6 strides apart. I trotted through, both adding and leaving out steps. Cantered the line both ways, and did it in a 5, a 6, and a 7. Overall, I was very happy.
Tuesday I had some adult type stuff to go do, so no Tiki time. Wednesday, I hacked in the hilly front pasture. He felt GREAT. It was such a nice ride. There was a little bit of SHADE, I had my crop, and my feet were tied.:) I focused completely on his hind end, making sure he was working and pushing. TONS of leg on the downhill, working trot up the hill, flexing at the poll and trying to ask him to stretch into the bridle and stretch that back. Did some halt/back on the downhill sides, and he was marvelous:) VERY light, very stretchy, and very elastic.
The ring got drug yesterday, YAY! So, decided to do some gymnastics today. Nothing too terribly difficult, just a single cav, 1 stride to a cav stack (2'3), one stride to a vert (2'3), one stride to an oxer(2'6). So ... not super difficult or anything. During warmup, I worked him through the jumps so he saw everything. Can I just say that he felt like a rockstar today? Well, he did:) Just lovely. Very light, very soft, halted and backed with NO yanking on me. Dare I say, I think that maybe the boy is figuring out how to halt with his butt under him! As per usual, I dont' like to overwork him on the flat when I plan to do gyms, so I didn't. Jumped the single barrel with no training wheels (guiding poles;)) today. He actually jumped it straight, OVER the barrel, and never ran out! He did jump it funky a few times, though, like he wasn't really making an effort to jump it. Just weird. So, I decided to go ahead into the gym. Grabbed the neck strap, and trotted in. He backed off, like he normally does ... then it was just, STOP.:( He jumped the single cav, then stopped dead at the stack. What the ... ? Hit him behind my leg, came again. Again, same thing. Came again, and AGAIN, same thing; by this point, he's jumping like a freaking monkey over the first cav, and I can feel how upset he's getting. I stood and we both caught our breath, and tried one more time. Just DISASTROUS; got him over the first cav, got him over the stack, then NO prayer for getting over the vertical. I walked him for a few minutes, wondering what to do. I hopped off, dropped the stack to an oxer, dropped the vert to a crossrail, and dropped the front rail to the oxer.
That was the key. He made it through this time. Jerky, quick, and a little frantic, but he did it. Came again, twice more, and he'd figured it out and got his confidence back. Put it back up where it was. Now, no problem. Did that twice, then raised the vert and oxer up one hole, making them 2'6 and 2'9. He went through NO problem. On the 2nd pass through, he drifted a little left (which is where our issues LAST time through a gym were). It wasn't a bad drift, so I came again with a little opening right rein, and he stayed nice and straight. Got off and put the oxer up one more hole to 3'. I was now having to whoa through the whole first part, and then closed my leg at the base of the oxer. He jumped it big. One final time, and he was perfect through it. Quit there. I HONESTLY didn't think the gym as it sat would cause him to react like that. I guess he just needs me to set it super low the first time through every time; I do NOT want to zap his confidence. Ended strong and well though:) Walking hills tomorrow:)