I had a very average to slightly disappointing ride Wednesday. I used my Drift helmet cam on the wall, I'll have to post some video later. There isn't much to see.
But now to the real reason for my post's title...
I rode last night, using Mikey's double for the first time in 2 weeks or so. I spent those two weeks really working him over his back and getting him to fill up the correct neck muscles in his Micklem. I also worked on quiet half passes in trot and canter, quiet simple changes through walk on the serpentine, and quiet flying changes while being respectful of my left aids.
He tried to dump me in the first 5 minutes sitting on him- we're just walking and I'm pushing him into the bridle and forward and thinking Spanish walk to get a little extra reach. He just became a spooky bastard about the arena door and did his neat sit and spin to the left without the hard stare that usually happens first. I wasn't as vigilant as I should have been, but he's been spooky about the arena for all this time without reacting to it, I can usually just push him through to work and he forgets about it.
So how does this equal "ecstatic happiness"?
After working through quite a bit of tenseness, I went to canter, did a couple medium/extended canter to collected canters.
I then turned up centerline (tracking right) at the spooky arena door, half passed right from centerline to the wall, and when I hit the wall, I asked for a flying change to see what I would get.
I got a perfect, clean, prompt flying change! No fuss, no shenanigans, no problem. Lots of good boy, neck pat, and kept on trucking tracking left. Extended canter on the long side, collect, turn, half pass left, and a wobbly change. The half pass wasn't as good as it needed to be. He offered me a simple change through trot so I praised him, walked, changed directions at connected walk through a serpentine loop letting him chill (he kept trying to jig back into canter), asked for canter, extended down the longside, collect, turn down centerline, half pass left, hit the rail and asked for the change and BAM! Perfect, clean, prompt flying change.
Good boy, walk, pat, dismount!
I got it on video with my phone, except the changes. Where we hit the wall is in the tiny bit of arena my phone can't see. I'll just have to make the half passes better so they go more sideways and less forward so it fits in the frame! I'll post pics and videos later.