|Exactly one year ago today:)|
Well, not really lol. But I DID ride a horse today that's NOT the Muffin.
Friday I rode him in the draw reins one more time; I decided to reinforce what we'd done on Thursday, and let me tell y'all ... it was one of "those" days where I ended up NOT arm wrestling, but LEG wrestling. He was pretty good in my hands; fairly soft and feeling nice and light. Very supple, very responsive, and super nice. Canter work was SO much better than Thursday; so much better in fact, that I decided to school The Change.
For those that caught one of my early January posts of this year, I proclaimed that 2012 is to be the year of the Lead Change. He can do them, he DOES do them, now he needs to do them on command. On course, I don't always get a change, and sometimes I get just a half a change, so he needs to be better at those. I pulled out an old exercise I've done before; canter across diagonal, counter canter, canter diagonal, canter correct lead, canter across diagonal, flying change, rinse and repeat. I even had a POLE there.
Began on the right lead and he swapped left perfectly, right on cue. He had a lovely counter canter both ways, and then I cantered him on the left lead to the pole and asked for a change. Half. Fixed it, cantered pole and got another perfect r-l change, asked for the l-r and got half. I kept on and kept on, feeling my frustration BUILD as he kept either flat out NOT doing anything, or only getting the front from l-r. 10 minutes later, I began just hauling him up hard after he missed the change, turned around, and came again left lead because I was just becoming exhausted. It was HOT outside and he were approaching 40 minutes on the flat. He was DRIPPING. I was trying different things; spur, no spur, half halt outside, half halt inside, bend to the left, bend to the right, FLING my hips to the outside, kick his guts out with the outside leg, sit STILL and do virtually nothing. AGH!!!!! When he FINALLY got just one stinking clean change from l-r, I dropped the reins, and praised him like he was a total rock star. DAGGUM!!!! That was NOT a good or fun ending to what began as a pretty nice ride. I HATE schooling changes. That's precisely why I've decided both of us need to master them; they're hard for BOTH of us.
Rode a cute gray arab today that began as a total hot mess, and ended up pretty nicely. He is one LAZY slug, though, so my legs will be SORE tomorrow:( Jumping my boy tomorrow and Friday, just low stuff; nothing over 2'6. It will be his first jump school since the horse trial; I think we will have FUN with it!