We started with walking for a while as the cold has started to settle in. I asked for some shoulder in work, which was average, but I got him put together and swinging in his walk. I forced the trot transition to be round and connected, then let him carry a bit of a lower frame in the posting trot for a couple laps. We did some trot-halt-rein back-trot transitions, where I kept asking for the connection and really forcing it to be there when he wanted to disconnect.
By that point he was fairly well tuned in, so I rode a couple trot serpentines and then rode the canter half pass portion of the freestyle I posted earlier in trot... right half pass from A, 10m half circle left to X, 10m half circle right, then half pass right back to centerline and tracking left at C to repeat the exercises the other way. No complaints about his work, it was soft, supple and connected.
I asked for canter and did basic canter half passes from the wall to centerline so I could continue going the same direction and not worrying about changing the lead. His half pass right was incredible, I asked and woosh, off he went. From half pass out of the corner, we got across centerline to the next quarterline in about 50m of forward distance. More than acceptable for our level. And we repeated that same flowy half pass another 3 times.
The left half pass in canter is a bit harder and did not go as well, but I got from the wall to centerline without too much resistance from him and he did it without overreacting or getting angry.
I moved on to the canter serpentine, doing several with simple changes through walk, paying attention to keeping my hands soft and making the transitions happen from my seat. Those went very well, so I started to ask for flying changes. We didn't get to loop it flying change to flying change, I sometimes repeated the center circle before asking for the next change because I didn't have him where I wanted him. I got a bunch of clean left to right, and several late behind right to left. He gave me a clean right to left, so I let him roll forward in the canter, break to a trot and do a stretchy trot for half a lap and quit. He was so super!
Tonight was one of the nights where he softens, I soften, so he softens more, so I relax more and he relaxes more, and so on. Either last night's learning curve paid off, or he was just feeling good tonight. Either way, I'll take it!
Since the weather is making a turn for the worst, Mikey got to snuggle up in his Schneider's Stable blanket with bellyband and hood. My phone's camera was not making it easy to get pictures of him!
|"My forehead is itchy. This hay is conveinent!"|
|"Do I have any hay in my hair?"|
|Warm horse :-)|