Ahhhh-mazing rides on both boys today. I don't know if it's the grain, or that they got the weekened off because of the horrible weather, or if it's finally just clicking for both of them, but DANG was I feeling so good after riding today.
I lunged Bobby in side reins first, much much looser than they were on Friday. He was having trouble picking up and keeping his left lead at the canter; probably because of the R stifle throwing him off balance. He had a pretty nice frame and you could see the wheels churning as he tried to figure out how to do what he was being asked the best way. He went better to the right, so I didn't lunge him that direction for as long. He also carried his head in the cutest hunter frame the whole time around. Once he figures out cantering under saddle, he might be able to double duty--or just do hunters if he can't hold up to eventing.
I warmed him up at the walk and trot on the buckle, and all I had to do was give a little squeaze and he bounced off into a really great, animated trot. I asked for a little collection at the trot after warming him up some more. He was going so much straighter than usual, and while he was still a little crooked, he wasn't wandering or drifting, or shaped like an S. I asked him for a leg yield each direction, and he's doing better at those, too.
On to the canter. I started him off to the right since I know that's his stronger side and I didn't want to get into a fight with him and tire him out. I started off in hunter princess light seat, and he was a little quick, but I got him pretty well balanced out for a green bean. I sat down for two giant circles, and you could tell he was trying sooo hard to give me some collection and doing exactly what I asked of him. To the left, I was over-riding him way too much by trying to get him straight and slower and bending all at the same time, and he kept swapping leads around the corner because he thought that's what I was asking him to do, and just generally going all over the place. I finally brought him back to a walk and regrouped. We did two big loops with me sitting and just totally staying out of his way and he did sooooo much better. Not great by any means, but tons better than before. I definitely need to work on over-riding for both boys, though I've gotten better with Red. I gave him great big pats and left him at that.
I got Red tacked up after I set up a swedish oxer for him. It was 2'6" in the middle. I warmed him up on the buckle at walk/trot, gave him one lap of the canter collected, then took him right over it. He jumped it with zero hesitation at a totally calm canter. I took him around it to the left once more, then to the right twice. He was like, "Really? This is it? Why don't you give me something that takes effort?" I was on him for maybe fifteen-twenty minutes before I put him away. It was such a perfect jump every time, I didn't want to ruin it. I need Hubby to make me some more jumps so I can set up a mini course.
I clipped Red's face and rubbed his fronts down with linament, then gave both him and Bobby more cookies and hay.