But enough of that. So ... how did Thursday's early morning ride go? Thanks for asking; it was very productive! Sydney was slightly more relaxed, but we still had to go through the 15 minutes, or more, of bend around my leg. I decided it was probably because of the cooler air. I am sure he would have loved to have had a good gallop, but there just wasn't time, and it wasn't as though he's been penned up for days and days. A mad gallop is fun, but that's not what we're doing under saddle.
I tell my students all the time that I can make the lesson as fun as possible, but ultimately, we're there to work, and it can't always be fun. The same is true for Sydney. I can vary the exercises and make them interesting, but it is still work.
So I bent him around my leg over and over and then asked for the trot. He flipped his nose, braced his neck and body, and continued to insist that the work was NO FUN. Too bad was my response. I simply kept him in the conversation and little by little he let the tension melt away and became more and more relaxed through his ribcage. Again, I spent about 15 minutes just getting him to let go of his neck, and then another 15 minutes getting him to bend through his whole body.
I was really pleased with the work we did. When he's tense and resistant now, I am feeling more and more confident about keeping him in the moment with me rather than letting him run off like he was able to do in the spring. You all know that most of the work is in controlling that outside shoulder. That part is at 95% containment. I am now working on inside leg to outside hand.
I can keep his shoulder under control (outside hand and leg), but now I need to get some inside bend (inside leg and hand) and keep it. We've made some excellent progress this week. Who would have ever thought jury duty could help improve someone's riding?
I decided not to go out for the early morning ride today. Frankly, I am worn out from the trial. The weather is also predicted to be cold with high winds. No thanks. I am hoping that we wrap the trial up early in the day so that I can be back in town for an afternoon barn visit.
There's one more thing. Do you remember the Barbro Ask-Upmark clinic that was cancelled in August? Well, I signed up for a two-day version for this weekend. I haven't said anything about it for fear that it, too, might get cancelled. So far, we're on. It's in Ventura (Somis, actually), which is on the coast. Hubby is coming with me, and we have a room near the Ventura Harbor. We're trying to make a bit of a weekend out of it. So once we're done in court today, I have to pack, including my saddle, boots, and riding clothes.
I have a very busy Friday lined up: TGIF.