That whole right bend/dumping onto the right shoulder thing I've struggled with for the last two years?
No idea what changed over the last couple of rides. But every walk/trot transition was straight and we had tons of right bend. There was only one moment when I counter flexed him right and asked for his shoulder to go left at a walk and he totally ignored me and went right. Mr. Tappy tapped on the shoulder the next time and fixed that right up.
Then I decided to introduce an exercise called enlarging. Basically, you turn early at the end of the ring, have the horse bent to the inside, and basically leg yield them out as you are going around the short side of the arena. The trick is to make sure that you are asking the inside hind to step underneath and across into the outside rein connection, and not just opening the outside rein and letting the shoulder fall out. Just as you would in a proper leg-yield.
Cisco was really good to the left (good side) in the safe end of the arena, and not surprisingly, didn't really want to move out around the turn towards the scary bits in the other end. To the right we didn't get as much moving away from my leg but there were a few good steps.
I was really tempted to get off after the trot work because I was so happy with how it was all going. But our canter has a long way to go, so I had to do some work on it. I decided to work on some transitions on the circle. Our trot/canter transition are quite hit or miss - either immediate or running into tranter. It's not specific to one lead either - it changes from day-to-day. They need to be much sharper.
Today, the right ones sucked. Terrible tranter. The left ones were fantastic though! And he was also very good at a trot between the canter - not rushing or overly fussy.
There was a moment that caused great concern to Cisco. We were cantering on the left lead and something in the scary corner went "clunk clunk". At the time we were on the opposite corner of the circle from the noise. Cisco's head went straight up and to the left and he quickly came to a halt to stare at the noise. I almost slid off to the right when he quickly turned his body to stare.
A year ago, this noise would have left Cisco a mess and he wouldn't have been able to forget and forgive for a long while. This year, things have changed so much that by our fourth time through the corner after the noise I actually had to put outside leg on to push him out of the corner because he was going too deep into that turn.
That was where I ended that ride.
|Tired pony post-ride. Thinking hard about things.|