I arrived at the barn today early enough to get the stalls done and hop on the muffin. When I walked in, Joyce was down at the end of the barn cleaning one of her horse's stalls, which is not unusual ... when the horse is IN it. The horses were all out, she was working on the stall, and as I walked into the barn, everything was CLEAN!:) I asked her what she was doing, and she said she'd wanted to surprise me and be gone before I got there, lol.
My back/neck/head have been really bothering me lately, so finding the gumption to ride and do stalls has been tough. Joyce did the stalls so I could ride in the beautiful 80 degree weather today:) So, got to ride, gave the pony an awesome bath, AND made an appointment with the chiropracter, woo hoo!
Sticking with the plan of riding in the dressage saddle all week; today was totally different from Friday. Walked on a loose rein like normal. Tightened the reins in inch sized increments. Kept my leg on, shoulders back. Slowly continued to shorten until he was WALKING on contact, yay! No jig at all; he even relaxed his back and seeked contact. Trotted, and it was the trot I had by the END of Friday. It's so weird feeling the contact in my hands, and seeing his head so low in front of me. It will become our "new" normal.
Alternated sitting and walk transitions. Did a shallow serpentine on one long side, then a shoulder in down the other. Worked those awesome upward transitions to the canter, and he just feels SO nice and light. Picked up the canter in the most akward places, and he never missed a lead:) Popped off a few "late" lead changes, then got a NICE one that was slow and right where I asked for, so let him quit there. He actually had sweat, and "mayonnaise" between his hind legs; usually when he IS sweaty, it's either 99 degrees, or he was stressed out. This was good, old fashioned "hard work" sweat:):)
Spent about an hour bathing him, then another hour cleaning tack outside while he wandered around the outside of the ring and grazed. Supposed to be mid 70's on Saturday with a chance of showers later, so hopefully the HP is finished before the rain comes. Very excited, can't wait for it!!!