I went into Monday thinking Ezhno would be tired from the show, but he actually ended up being wired. It took a good amount of time to work him out of pogo stick mode. Then we worked on our transitions (especially the transition to the right lead canter, since we kept botching that during our show). Turned out I needed less contact on the outside rein for him to brace off of through the transition. Our simple lead changes went well, though!
Tuesday we rode with a bareback pad. We spent a lot of time working on our walk/trot and then started adding in some cantering. He rides so much better with more leg on him! We did a couple of simple lead changes and then ended with some (very straight) leg yield work, which was exciting because I’ve never really asked him for that before and he did really well.
Our lesson on Wednesday wasn’t very productive. The Trainer set up an exercise with four ground poles set up for one canter stride, then some space to transition, and then four more ground poles set up to trot over. We ended up sticking mostly to the trot, since Big Horse almost biffed it over the canter poles a few times. The exercise just felt too advanced for him. The Trainer also adjusted the position of my spurs (way lower now), so we had to adjust to that change. She joked that I was “like a 70 year old grandma whose keyboard was stuck on caps lock, and now I was stuck using the shift button”. LOL
Thursday we started out with the bareback pad, doing a free flow walk/trot warm up (with some cones to turn circles around and weave between). Then we did a bit of cantering and I felt motivated, so we went and tacked up and then cracked down on our canter to trot downward transitions (so messy, much improvement needed).
We took Friday off because it snowed (we never get snow here!).
Saturday morning I went up to the Bony Pony and came back with a new neck cover and a rope halter. I tacked Ezhno up in the dressage saddle and then we rode with just the halter on—no bit! The blow up Santa decoration we have on the roof of the West Arena was rattling, so a lot of the horses were spooking. Ez did fine until other horses started to get concerned, but he got some stern corrections and he got over it. My steering was about 80% and he was very lazy/bull-headed when he realized there was no bit in his mouth. I got a dressage whip, though, and we did a lot of cantering and simple lead changes. He needs some work on steering off of my legs, downward transitions from the canter, and backing up (there was a lot of pulling going on), but he did surprisingly well for going bitless for the first time.
I spent Saturday evening/Sunday morning with friends, so I didn’t make it back to the barn until 6:00PM Sunday night. Big Horse wasn’t really happy to be pulled away from his food, and he was less happy when I had to take him into the Main Arena because the West Arena had a green screen/photographer set up in it. He clearly didn’t like the footing (neither do I), but we still got some simple lead change work done. We also ended up bending poles with some of the gaming crew at the barn, LOL.
Author’s Note: I AM SICK AND EVERYTHING HURTS. PLEASE SEND 10 METRIC TONS OF COLD MEDICINE, A HEATED BLANKET, AND AT LEAST SIX HANDFULS OF COUGH DROPS. THANKS. ): ): ):