What a surprise, eh? Well no, I suppose not. But here are some more reasons I love him. I hadn't been able to ride in about ten days, because of bad weather and having the flu. Also, because of being sick, I haven't been in the barn. When I went out yesterday for the first time in ages Rogo was the biggest baby in the world. He put his head over my shoulder and pulled me into him and wanted to stand like this for as long as I'd stand there, sort of hugging me. Then he did his kissy thing - he puts his lips on mine and gives a little nudge for a kiss and keeps repeating for as long as I'll do it. For those who train by herd behavior I'm sure we're headed straight to hell, but I know my horse and his 'intrusion in my space' doesn't escalate, it just stays soft and affectionate and I love this about him. He also tucks his head into the crook of my arm and holds it there - thus my pet name for him - Bunny Rabbit. Ha ha, nauseating I know, but I'm a complete sucker for it and Rogo has me wrapped.
Here are some more 'sensible' reasons to love him - after all this time off and me worrying about the time we're losing he came back better than ever. Yesterday, inspired by the Dr. Reiner Klimke video I'd been watching on training young horses at the canter I decided to ask for a 10m canter circle and voila - I got a lovely 10m canter circle with ease. I also asked for walk canter walk on the 10m circle and he did it with one or two trot steps both up and down, both ways. Today I asked for counter canter for the first time since last fall. Last fall he'd do counter canter to the quarter line and back to the right, but not at all to the left. Today he did it several times, from the first ask, both ways almost to the center line and back. Wow! He's always been very clumsy, but not anymore. I think he must be almost finished growing and he's finding his balance now. I'll have to be very careful not to rush things or push him now that he's figuring out how to carry himself.
He's so cute as he does these new things - he knows he's done well and that I'm pleased with him and he blows and snorts to beat the band after he makes a good effort. What a great Easter gift from him and how nice to realize the time off seemed to be good for him. Come to think of it he gave me that incredible collected canter circle Christmas Eve - maybe he's a religious horse? :)
We also worked on the trot quarter line loop needed for training level, and the stretchy circle. He stretches nicely but doesn't steer too well on the circle with a long rein.I had a board meeting for my dressage club R.I.D.E.R.S. at a pub in Windsor this evening - the best fish and chips! We've got a great season coming up.