(sad pic up top. My 3 bridles, covered in dust and cobwebs. The closeup shows how bad it is. Got to ride everyday so that doesn't build up again!)
Finally riding my boy after a little 2 week sabbatical was like heaven. I NEVER feel happier than when I swing my leg over his back and settle into the saddle. I'm optimistic that now that summer time is getting back into school time, I can consistently get back to work with my boy. He felt great today, all things considering. I opted for a nice, solid 30 minute ride consisting of mostly a nice, stretchy trot. I didn't wear spurs, and I put on the cc saddle and the hunter bridle. He felt nice and forward with a touch of sassy, but not stupid or angry. Sometimes when I hop on too outside of our usual routine, he gets a tad resentful. This morning, it was about 7:30 that I got on. Gave him a handful of his breakfast, then headed up to the ring.
He was actually pretty lovely considering the lack of work:) Worked on straight and relaxed. Tried to get him to take the reins and stretch long and low. He did a few times, yay! Had 2 poles thrown in center of ring, perpendicular to "X". Trotted over them, did a little shoulder in, then changed direction each time as I reached the end of the ring. He was a little stiff in the neck and poll, but as I said, the hollow mouth D is not the best bit in the world for him. I need another of the Myler D-rings, but they're $$ and I have other things to worry about right now.
The canter was a little "worse". He felt very enthusiastic and swishy at the canter. I was "up" in my 2-point a little bit. There was a cavaletti on the lowest setting on a long side, and he kept trying to run at it. I cantered up to it, halted, backed, then walked over it. Rinsed and repeated a couple of times until he quit hollowing his back and flinging his head up at the halt. Let him quit when I cantered up quietly, said "WHOA", and he backed himself off and stepped right over.
I felt like it was a great way to gear back up and let him think about it for the weekend. Monday begins "Countdown to Poplar Place"! I've got a xc schooling to schedule, a lesson with Janet, a lesson with Gigi, a lesson with Susan, and hopefully a lesson with a local jumper trainer, Heather Ray. Lots to do!