He goes out during the day and she goes out at night, but when I bring him in to ride, he gazes longingly at her through the bars of her stall until I unhook from the crossties and let him profess his love to her. You can see how much she loves him back. The funny thing is, if he stops paying attention to her, or when we start to leave for the arena, she presses her nose against the grate. She's just playing hard to get!
|temporarily distracted by the hanging play thing/crosstie.|
|"i love you, tasha!"|
After a phenomenal w/t warm up, I asked him to canter a 20m circle in each direction to see if he was going to be charging around like a looney and swapping his hind legs around the right. Nope. He was definitely excited to be cantering, but I'm learning that I have to let him roll out a little bit because what I think is fast is just his normal stride. He's a big horse and he has big movements. He was a little bit of a brat to come back down to the trot, so I set up our game plan for the rest of the ride to be trot-halt-trot transitions (my fave), canter-trot transistions, and then run through BN A once.
His trot-halt transitions were fab. Zero complaints. I had to be a little more firm than I would have liked the first couple of canter-trot transitions, but once he realized what I was asking, they were like bam-bam-bam. Really good. Plus, he was just so relaxed. His big ears were flopping sideways, his stride was swinging along, and his back wasn't a hot, tensed mess.
His test overall was pretty awesome. Not that the BN A test is anything fancy or challenging, but for a horse that couldn't even canter at the beginning of the year, I'm super pumped to get through it without looking like a hot mess. His free walk was the best it has ever been, his trot was big and loose, and his canter was so UP. We need to work on anticipating movements and our halt and salute. He thinks trotting down the centerline is a fun way to change direction, not a place to stand still.
Yay for making progress! I got ahold of Michelle at Burgundy Hollow this morning and scheduled our xcountry school for Sunday morning. I'll do another dressage ride tomorrow and Thursday, then a jump school Friday, flat or hack on Saturday, and hopefully kick some real jumps asses Sunday.