Wednesday, January 11, 2012
This week the weather has been totally wacky. I stuck to the plan and rode the boy on Monday. Sadly, it was a day that has been rare for us lately ... we were arm wrestling a little bit. I remembered to take my dressage saddle pad, but forgot the bridle! I ended up using the regular cavesson/copper ball full cheek. He was NOT soft in it. He was extremely heavy at the canter, pretty stiff at the trot, and did NOT want to flex at the poll and stretch for me. One thing I've noticed in him ... he opens his mouth. Even in a halter with the side reins on ... he opens his mouth and sticks his tongue out. It's annoying, but it's him:)
So blech. I reversed and reversed and reversed and circled and leg yielded and transitioned up and down and still he was resistive and stiff. Out of frustration I hauled on his face a few times to get him back to me, and FINALLY he quit running away with me. I ended when we did a downward transition from canter to trot, then circled and he came up into the bridle and softened.
Yesterday the weather didn't really cooperate, and plus he had a pedicure ( I didn't know farrier was coming then!) so I didn't ride. I did dose him with his first shot of Adequan; not expecting any results from the first week, but hoping to feel a positive change by the time February rolls around.
Today was dressage saddle again, and I DID remember the bridle, yay! The dressage bridle has a single jointed Myler D-ring with no hooks or anything, and a flash noseband. The ring was completely saturated (it STORMED this morning, badly!), but the ring was perfect since our footing is still straight up M10 with no sand on it. I started out with a whole different attitude from the other day; I stayed soft, soft, soft. LOTS of leg, w/t/w/t/w/t transitions, and I had a different horse from Monday. He is so much more supple in the dressage bridle; I just think he needs to keep his mouth strapped shut, because I didn't love the Myler D-ring in the regular cavesson, either.
I did a LOVELY figure 8 at the trot with a fantastic bend. He was very flexed at the poll, he was soft in the neck, his butt followed his shoulders, and he just felt happy all around. I finished by cantering the figure 8 with simple changes through the walk, and he gave me THE most stellar transitions EVER. 180 degree change, yay! This morning I was in short sleeves in the sunshine, and this afternoon I was teaching in gusts of icy wind, huddled in a fleece and a jacket, dodging the sideways blowing rain. Gotta love GA!
Tomorrow it's back in the cc saddle, and I will probably use my cross country bridle with the waterford bit. At the show on Sunday the kids will use my stadium bridle with the figure 8 and the wonder bit. LONG week this week!