Today was FUN!! We had a great lesson.
We started off warming up with a hack around the jump arena. And the sprinklers were on. He was alert but fine. So.... I guess it's just the noise and not being able to fully see the ones at Ashland maybe?? I do need to take Lucy up on a desensitizing session.
We had a great lesson. It was a lot of trot and canter and a lot of work on me getting my body position in a way that enabled Dan to lift his back. I had fully relax my butt and thighs and legs, and drape... and really fight the urge to tighten. In my brain, when I drape and relax that much... I feel like I'm pushing down on him and that my butt is more bouncy. BUT.. i know this isn't actually true. And today... I was able to fully relax things and keep things where they were supposed to be for a little bit! And his back came up and he got so round and engaged!! Or at least he felt like it. (I will be honest.. it is a little disappointing sometimes because he feels like a million bucks but then I watch and it's like... oh, he just looks like a training level dressage horse... sigh). But his back came up and met my seat and there wasn't any bouncing. It was awesome!!!! And when I focused on being straight and tall and strong in my upper body.. and relaxed and drapey with my feet underneath me and my toes in.... he really awesome!! He got round and supple and I felt like I could easily correct the lean... It was really fun. We had some pretty good counter canter 3 loops too! We also had some really nice correct trot mediums and some canter mediums too!! It was so cool! A helpful hint on my trot mediums is that as we come across the center, I need to subtly change the bend and really ride him inside leg to outside rein into the corner... and think quick, not slower or shorter, for the downward.
So yep. Lots of fun! Dan was hot and sweaty. Me too! Then we went for a cool off hack and as we were going around the outside of the jump arena while Jessica and Alex were teaching, this work truck came by. It was a huge white work truck and looked a lot like a slowly swimming iceberg or manatee. They were super polite and went very slow and quiet, but... Dan stared... and stared.. I was thinking "Oh dan.. keep it together"... He went "I'm trying.... trying... trying... NOPE!!!" and exited sideways. I grabbed the reins and was trying to pulley rein him as he was leg yielding at a rapid pace down the lane. Luckily I managed to catch him after about 8 strides and we didn't scare the lesson kids. Then there were two more trucks, although they were normal work trucks, that he spooked at. The second one he reared and tried to bolt and the third one he just spooked at. Silly rabbit!! But I'm glad he was still frisky. :) Maybe he likes his new food.
He got lunch and grazed and then snacked on hay while I worked. He's a good weirdo.