Just wanted to post a quick update. I've got a billion and one things going on making my life not-so-fun this week, but I was determined to go out and have a good ride on the mare today. And surprisingly it went well.
I had been coaching myself throughout the day - I know she's not going to be very good, but I just need to stay calm and ride through it, just correct her and move on, don't stress, low expectations, low expectations. That was my mantra. And it worked!
I went out and tacked her up. I noticed that she was sore in her neck so I gave her a mini massage and we did some stretching and that seemed to get rid of the nasty faces she was making. Warmed up on the lunge line with side reins and then switched to the sidepull to ride, just to change it up a bit. If I have 100% control of Jetta and her body with a bit, then I've got at least approximately 90% control with the sidepull, so I'm never worried about using it when she's acting up. It's good to give her mouth a break sometimes I think.
I got on and warmed up long and low at the walk and trot then gradually gathered her up. Every time I did it too fast she'd pop her head up and avoid going forward to the bit so I'd just ask her to move forward and stretch back down to the bit. I kept her in a slightly lower neck position than usual because I do think her neck is sore, why I have no idea, but this would help get her stretched out. I asked her to bend around my inside leg through the corners and she accepted my leg well. And then we cantered! Our transitions weren't great but they weren't awful like on Tuesday. I'm glad no one else was around because I talked me and Jetta through every little hitch and it helped. I'm sure I sounded a little crazy though!
I gave her lots of walk and stretching breaks throughout our ride and finished with trotting an actually straight line down the center and halting square. I got off and we called it a day. Not an amazing ride, but good. Short and sweet. I just hope that she behaves herself tomorrow and we get some good feedback in our lesson.