I followed up Saturday's ride with an even better one on Sunday. It didn't hurt that the weather was absolutely beautiful: clear blue sky, slight breeze, temperature in the mid-60s, and all of that combined with perfect footing. You simply can't ask for more.
I saw this on Facebook over the weekend; it pretty much summed up the weekend. Not only that, but it speaks a bit to today: being thankful for what we have.
Once we were really working, I was all smiles. How did we get so much better in just a few weeks? He hasn't dropped drastically behind the vertical in several rides, and he's really trying to keep the contact. We did all kinds of exercises utilizing the entire arena. It was fun to play around with turns, loops, and serpentines.
I was particularly happy with his canter work. To the right, he gets very light in my hand, but it takes a lot of inside leg. He's stronger to the left, but I need strong outside aids to get him to turn. We worked on riding the canter in a square, which lightened him up even more to the right; man, it was fun! To the left, we did more and more canter loops until I had him put together enough to ride an entire serpentine. I was freaking out happy that he held the canter through the middle loop.
After that successful exercise, I brought him down to a walk and praised him enthusiastically. I hopped off and gave him a big scratch. He looked a little surprised by the hubbub, but I know he knew he had just done something right.
I am really looking forward to several days of riding in the daylight this Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy your own friends and families on this day of thankfulness.