Doug lunged Rogo while I rode bareback yesterday. We worked up to longer trotting - several circles both ways, but it was pretty slow. I ride Savanah bareback everywhere, at all gaits, but Rogo isn't used to it and sometimes gets over-excited, so I'm taking it slow until he responds to aids bareback as well as he does with a saddle. I could feel my hips aching afterward, so it must be working, right? Boy, if I could get my hips to open and relax what a difference it would make. Now that it's getting closer, I can feel how it should be a little more with every ride.
Today I rode tests 1 and 2. I was quite happy with them. They aren't perfect, but for a horse and rider who've barely been able to ride for three months because of rain, and only 2 lessons from Joan in all that time (circumstances beyond her control), I'll take it.
He's straight again (Yeah!), nicely forward most of the time, all transitions in the correct places, good figures (except stretchy circle). What a good boy. Our stretchy circle is rough, but it's coming along. He stretches nicely but doesn't steer well enough to do the circle well. I use my legs as much as I can, but it's rising trot so I can't use my seat as effectively as I could if I was sitting, and it's on a long rein. Any suggestions? Look where I'm going, weight stirrups as needed...???
I was going to ride test 3 as well, but there's a trot to canter transition in a corner that still has a big muddy area as you come out of it. He did a funny leap over the mud, but I continued on and onto the 20m circle. It was rhythmic and forward, but it didn't feel quite right to me, so I looked down and I swear to God he was counter cantering the circle! Was I imagining this? Is he really able to do this now? I mentioned a while ago that I'd asked him to counter canter to the center line and back and he did it easily, after not being able to do it last fall. I haven't worked on it since, but his balance and coordination must be coming along. Anyway, I praised him (it was an honest mistake and he held his canter when asked), and then we did the canter part of the test and got it right. I decided not to ride it all until the ring is dryer, because the transitions were in all the muddy spots :(. Then we worked for a very few minutes on leg yield and called it a night.One of the best things about this ride was the forward and jump in the canter. Even when he started off flat a couple of times I felt him re-balance himself onto his hindquarters and really pick it up - power surge. Oh I love that! I live for those moments :)