Good googley moogly Dan is fit as a fiddle! Jeepers! We had our lesson today. It was hot! Like 91 degrees hot. Not as awful humidity wise though, which is awesome. And we had our lesson in the covered, so even better. But it was still hot. I was a little later than usual as we moved the time up some but not til it was almost too late for me to get there on time. But I had walked and worked on the half pass at the walk. Then while Rana and I chatted I did some trotting and cantering to loosen him up. But he wasn't "on the aids" yet. He felt kind of icky. Like... almost lame. Like maybe left hind. And he was biting at his shoulder again. Sigh. Dangit Dan! Rana thought he looked a bit stiff and different too. She felt like he had a hunters bump and was more angular in his butt again. We kept working and once I put him together he got more correct and felt better. Rana didn't see anything specific so we kept going.
I asked her if I could show her my half pass to see how far off I was at home. Of course... it was tough because we hadn't properly warmed up and even gotten him connected in the canter, but.. off we went. I felt like they were semi-decent and actually half passes, vs... cantering on a diagonal. He wasn't crossing over a ton but.. he stayed forward and sideways at the same time. And he didn't prop or swap leads or anything. She agreed. She said that we both had grasped the concept and Dan had increased his academic knowledge of it. Hee hee. So then she set to work helping me make it better. Sorry Dan! So we went to work. Basically.. the same stuff. I've got to keep the bend, but use the outside rein to move the shoulders over, not use my inside leg and creep up his side, not hang on the inside rein, shift my weight and lean to the inside, use my inside leg as a pole to wrap around, keep my elbows at my side, don't cross over his neck, and... make my blasted inside shoulder go forward! She even had me ride looking back behind me in an attempt to get me to move my blasted inside shoulder forward. The right lead is way more difficult than the left. So we struggled... a lot... and it was like.. I could do one thing, but then forgot the others... and then when I went to fix that thing, something else fell apart. Sigh. BUT... we did get like 4 whole strides total of a legit half pass! Like he actually felt like he was crossing over even! But then it fell apart again. S
Rana asked to get on. Yes Please! Dan was actually being pretty good and not combative so I was hoping he wouldn't injure her since she's post surgery. She's only ridden Buttercup! But, she wanted on so... on she went. Dan was pretty good in the beginning but the side eye was strong. Then he got pretty fussy and started throwing some attempts at pissyness at her. And it sort of made me feel a little better cause she was getting some of the same issues I was getting... the stopping and propping... the dramatic downwards... the chomping... the behind the vertical... the not going forward. She's just MUCH better at fixing those things. And she did. After a bit of riding she got him going nicely and got some legit half pass.
So then I got back on. She explained that basically... he's hanging on the right rein and not truly in it, so... he's not truly bent right and thus is my problem with the halfpass right. I'm working so hard to hold him in bend... that it's contorting my body. Sigh. So... she had me ride outside leg to inside rein. She said that yes, inside leg to outside rein is good and correct and legit and needed, but then as you advance, you need a little more. So, now we're doing outside leg to inside rein. But he has to be soft in the inside rein. No cheating, no hanging. So drop him. If he falls out of bend, then I'm holding him. If he stays bent, that's self carriage. And he was SOOOOO much better and even in the connection after she rode him. Sigh. I need to remember that and aim for that. So then we did outside leg to inside rein and basically asked for a haunches in and bend.... and then add the outside rein for the half pass. And.. it got a teeny bit better.. and then it fell apart again. We tried once more and got a decent one so we quit with that. At this point poor Dan was lathered and dripping from everywhere. His saddle pad was literally sopping! But by the time I got off and walked him to the trailer he was chomping grass and his breathing rate was normal. He was still hot though! Jeepers dude!! I'm pretty sure our lesson started at 3:15 and while we didn't get going til 3:30 at least... it was 5:45 when I looked at the clock after untacking you and chatting for a tiny bit and hosing you off. So he was probably ridden for at least an hour and 15 minutes if not an hour and a half. Granted, he got breaks and a longer one when we switched riders. But dang son! Fit as a fiddle.
Oh, and Rana didn't feel any soundness issues on him nor did I see any. She just thought he was being lazy and that I was blocking him by allowing him to hang and brace. But I may still put him on a month of previcox just to help because I still feel the teeniest little subtleties and have the last few weeks. Or maybe I'll just get a lameness exam. We'll see.