I haven't really been riding lately, so this will definitely be interesting.
I pulled Misty out of her stall yesterday and gave her a good grooming since it is now officially shedding season. She sheds the most of any horse that I have ever met... especially because she barely even grows a winter coat. I tacked her up and gave her one last brush over, and found a swollen hock with all the hair scraped off the inside. Sigh.
|Scraped hock - nasty, dirty, swollen hock. White mares, ugh.|
I lunged her and she was a little bit off, but I figured she was being a delicate flower and it wouldn't really hurt her to ride since it was just superficial inflammation due to the scrape on her sensitive skin.
She warmed up really well and didn't feel off and we did most work at the walk and trot, working on our bending lines and 10 meter half circles. The half circles will be interesting. It is still pretty rare that we hit them right on, most of the time we miss centerline, she drops her shoulder or swings her butt out, decides to canter (because 10 meter canter circles are obviously way easier...) or just resists doing the circle all together. But it's coming along. Every so often we'd get it just right, so it'll happen eventually.
Our lengthened trots are kinda there. Sometimes they feel really awesome and then others they're just really meh. It's about 50/50. I haven't worked much on lengthening the canter because I didn't want to deal with her anticipating it, etc. But I tried one out and it actually felt really good. We'll still need to do some work on lengthening her frame and not just speeding up, but she was really attentive and gave me a good effort and politely came back to a nice working canter afterwards. I was impressed!
Our halt is still the thing that drives me insane. She acts like she HAS to stop crooked and when you correct her she gets offended. We schooled that for a while before I took her over to the wall to work on straightness with the support of a straight surface. I got a little irritated and gave her a tap on the hip to remind her that it's not necessary to pop it off the wall... and I got the most adorable little piaffe ever! And now I just want to teach her half steps and work on teaching her to piaffe.
Overall, it was a really productive and good ride. Hopefully we'll be able to pull off a first level test on Sunday!