Today was a good day :)
I took Dan to Morning Run and let him hang out in the paddock by the ring while I worked. I adjusted Chex, who was a good boy. Then Beth said I could ride Mighty! She didn't have time to get him ridden and... so yeah. :) I got to ride Mighty! He's fun. He's tough though too. He's super sensitive to your seat aids so we got a little confused with each other. He was a bit all over the place with his haunches and his shoulders. Apparently my seat is also all over the place. We got better. Then I couldn't figure out how to get him to trot. Ha ha! Seriously!?! What on earth? So.. I finally realized that if I moved my seat, I could get him to trot. He trotted off my seat, not my leg. Ah... Still tough and we had to figure it out each time we trotted after not trotting for awhile. I practiced some leg yields, some shoulder ins, some haunches in, some sitting trot.. and I couldn't help myself. I did a trot lengthen. WOW!!! That horse can lengthen! Like legit lengthen. Like Party lengthens. Correct lengthenings! It was really fun. Poor Dan was watching and staring the whole time. I laughed and told him to pay attention to the lengthen! Then we cantered and it was much easier to ask for the canter. Interestingly, I ask correctly with Mighty, so... hoping that it'll translate to asking correctly with Dan. We played a little bit and then I took Mighty on a short hack.
So then... I hosed Mighty off, brought Dan in and hosed him off as he was FILTHY! Then Dan had to sit in the cross ties while I worked on Mighty. He was a little fussy at first, but I was so proud of him because after a few "eechhhs" and a tiny lit bit of "whip reinforcements"... hee hee... he stood quite quietly the whole rest of the time. :) Yay! So after I adjusted and acupunctured Mighty, it was Dan's turn to play.
We got to ride in the Monoflap again. It was fun! Beth set up two canter poles before a vertical. She said it set us up for success. So we did that both directions (figure 8) a few times. He was jumping nicely but it took me getting the correct canter first. We came in long a few times. Then we didn't jump straight. He kept landing hard right. So we fixed it. Then we added some single fences and a line. It was a little tough. But we worked through it. He was drifting to the right in the line, so I had to move both my hands to the left. Unfortunately I kept crossing his neck with my left rein. NOT UNLIKE My downfall in the leg yield serpentine when I swap to the left. Duh. So it got better though my muscle memory was still there. I had to keep yelling at my left hand "Get back over there you dummy!". And for some reason, Dan kept dying in the corner heading to the line and I was kicking and spurring and getting no response. So after he pooped over the fence, I popped him with the whip and got him going. We took a flyer over the second fence in the line. But seriously.. it was a 7 stride line and he put in 9. So after I popped him we did it in 7 and then 8. :) And then he was going and life was good again. I just had to keep the canter without letting him get long or too short. I told Beth that I thought I was being pulled forward on landing. She said that it was because I wasn't keeping my legs in front of me. Damn.... new saddle... fix it!!! But she pointed out that I had been doing it before it just was that he was jumping so much better now that it was becoming more obvious. And she said that we were jumping bigger. So.. I couldn't get away with it anymore. Sigh... BUT... when I focused on pushing my pelvis back, keeping my landing gear in front of me, and fully releasing (so I wasn't being pulled forward because I was hindering his neck and he was having to drag me to jump).... it was pretty freakin' nice!! He felt much more round and bascule-y. ;) Yay!!!
So then... we went for a hack. Apparently there is a gallop track with some XC fences that I didn't realize were separate from the other hack path. So we went that way. Well... I was sort of tempted to let him have a little run, but... figured we probably shouldn't gallop since we had just jumped and we might (or might get hurricaned out) show Sunday... but we picked up a trot... and then he picked up the canter... and I let him roll. Well, then he was on the muscle and so we worked on our gallop that I had talked about with Elisa the other day. Basically.. he needs to learn to gallop on the bit and in the bridle vs flat and strung out. So we tried that. And basically he said "screw you, I'm running... running fast" and took off with me. Like.. he dropped a gear and roared off! It is not a very long gallop track and there are some tight turns, so he only got a couple of strides of all out before I could rein him in a bit.. and then a few more strides of loosing him and then reining him back in again. There was also a little bit of bucking. And some head flinging when I resorted to "flossing his teeth" when my half halts were ignored. So.. we basically got back to the barn jigging/passaging... and I we should probably go for another loop to cool him down. Except.. he had other ideas. I giggled a little bit because I'm just as bad of an influence on him as he is on me. I saw that Beth was leaving so I made him walk until she couldn't see us. Then I let him go. I held him and managed to mostly keep him contained to a fast gallop as opposed to an all out gallop. So then we went around the turn and I saw that Beth had turned and was heading that way. Damn! I tried to hold him but he bucked some and took off and so.. yeah... not sure if Beth saw, but I basically got run away with again. Doh. Ha ha... I got him controlled again as we made the turn. So then he was still all hot and animated, so we did another little loop around the arena.. rather than risk a third gallop loop. ;) Then he got a bath and we headed home. :)
Fun fun day!!
But of course.. I didn't have my phone so I couldn't tell you how fast he went. Of course. :)