I rode Rogo today, and Doug rode Savanah. We rode inside, as the ground is snow covered, but it was a beautiful sunny day with no wind, -6 c.
I could tell Rogo was full of it, so I free longed him before riding. He rolled, snorted, galloped, bucked and farted to his heart's content. He's rarely like this, so it was fun to watch him. He just got his shoes off two days ago and will go barefoot for the winter.
When in the saddle I did the exercises Cheryl gave me for my warm up - walk without stirrups, straighten knee and swing leg forward and back, without moving body. I warmed Rogo up with some serpentines and small circles.
I tried to focus on using my left weight (seat bone and stirrup weight ) correctly, but it is awkward and not flowing smoothly.
Once we were warned up I asked for trot, hoping to see that my eureka moment (legs back, centered balance, longer 'squeeze' with my full leg and seat) was going to be a consistent improvement and not a one hit wonder. He didn't respnd to it as quickly today, but I don't think I did it as well today. He did respond, quite nicely in fact, but it took a little longer to get it. Also, I notice that as he is doing a bigger trot, he's going back to poking his nose out instead of rounding onto the bit. I would think that with pushing more he'd round more, but also I guess with me in a slightly different (even though improved) position, he may be fiding his balance a bit again.
Then we did canter. He was SO happy and buoyant in his canter - lots of jump and forward! I tried for some 15 m circles, but he broke to trot a couple of times. Then I realized I was taking and holding too much inside rein, so when I released that and just used my hips, legs and line of sight for the circle, with a feel on the reins when needed he went fine.
I practices a little shoulder in and leg yield, both at the walk. Boy, it's hard for me to use my left weight correctly :(
All in all a great day and ride.
Doug and Savanah did well too. I bought Doug a uni-sex Elation winter riding outfit - two layer jacket and insulated full seat breeches/pants. He really minds the cold, but he stayed warm and comfortable riding in this. I bought myself one a few years ago and still wear the jacket all the time. I don't wear the pants unless I'm outside in REALLY cold weather.