When that boy is on, he is so much fun to ride, but when he's not, like on Friday where we had a funky ride, he can be a handful. Rather than be too disappointed about it, I chalked it up to a not-so-great practice session. But that's what practice is - sometimes it goes great, other times … not so much much.
Saturday was a whole different day. I warmed him up slowly. We did lots of walking while tracking right, but counter bent to the left. This horse needs that stretch to get himself working right. We then did some trot work down the long sides and across the diagonals.
I am finding that Speedy really wants to canter before he trots. I've been okay with that. I suspect that he thinks cantering is easier, but if that is what he needs, it works into my over-all plan so I usually let him canter. Once he tires of the canter, we begin our trot work.
Christian Schacht showed me a great exercise that involves teardrops at the end of the long side with voltes at E. This has become my favorite exercise. I am not sure that Speedy "likes" this exercise, but it sure does help balance him.
On Saturday, after doing a few rounds of the teardrops, I went down the centerline rather then completing the teardrop. Speedy offered some really nice trot lengthening! As we approached C, I asked him to slow for the turn, and then sent him back down the long side in a lovely lengthened trot. As we approached the corner, I again asked him to slow and re-balance, which he did, and then sent him down the centerline again.
It was such a fun ride. I know our lengthenings aren't anything special, but they are the start of something good, and I am appreciating what he is offering!
I am definitely looking forward to showing him First Level!