Before the rain came though, the clouds grew ominously dark. and the wind began to gust. Since Sydney hadn't been out since Monday, I took the lunge line out with me; he needed it. I sent him around to the left where he gave a couple of bucks and asked to canter. To the right, he started to get that I-am-about-to-go-crazy look so I shortened the line and insisted that he step under with his inside hind.
Sydney doesn't lunge well to the right so I used some of the ideas from the video I posted the other day. Did you see the video? If not, you can catch it here. Anyway, I kept the line short and also kept my right hand high (the inside rein) and "pushed" him over with the slack end of the lunge line. The result was very similar to the lesson we had on Monday.
By keeping my hand high, I was able "lift" his inside shoulder which kept him from falling in on me as I lunged. I have never thought to do that before. I was also able to control his ribcage more effectively by pushing his hindquarters sideways so that the inside hind truly crossed in front of the outside leg. It proved to be quite an interesting exercise.
Once he seemed more relaxed, I hopped on. I could tell he was still quite tense so I returned to our old circling exercise: inside hand planted on my thigh, outside leg sending him forward, switch the bend over and over. Just as I thought we might be getting somewhere, Ineke came walking down the street with Bailey, one of our barn's horses. He had been at JL's place getting his feet done. Sydney turned into a giraffe.
As soon as I got Sydney's head back into our atmosphere, the thunder began to roll. The next moment brought pelting rain. It took me less than half a second to realize that this ride was over. By the time I opened the gate and walked the few feet to the barn, it was pouring.
Alas ... that time of year is upon us: the desire to ride and school is there, but the weather will do its best to foil my good intentions. At least the arena might be dust free for the weekend!