Feasting on just about the best pizza I've had in Texas at Paisano's in Georgetown. This is worth it, even if I do have a train wreck ride this weekend.
Cleaned stall, cleaned Chewie, back to ground work. Worked on a "body shake", which I don't think ever made sense. Anyways, I was looser at the end - but I think I was loose to start. Laid on the floor belly up, and did some shoulder stretches. Stretch down, stretch up, and forward.
To the horse! Instructor added a wedge pad, and while it might have helped him, it made me feel like my seat was higher than normal, and a bit uncomfortable. We worked on bends & turning. Turning by spinning the top of the belly ball in whatever direction I wanted to go. Worked out pretty good, once Chewie got the idea. A few times I cheated, and looked with my eyes in the direction. He seems to like direction eyes rather than a spinning belly ball. Chewie's overall mind was somewhere else. He was in the mood of looking around nervous "What was that?!? Where did that noise come from?!? The monsters are going to eat me!! I know it! There's a booger on the wall over there, I'm sure the world is going to eat me, and I'm going to protect you Mom! I promise!" His mind wasn't anywhere on me 75% of the ride. To get his mind on me, I kept repeating "soft eyes, soft eyes, soft eyes." At one point, mid-lesson, focusing on spinning the top of the belly ball, his head popped up tense, his back got very tense, and it was all he wanted to do to get away from whatever had spooked him. I started saying, out loud, "soft eyes, soft eyes, center, soft eyes." Instructor praised me during the spook, and after it was over, saying, "You did the right thing, and you got him relaxed. That was very good. You applied the lesson and it went very well." I'm glad nothing bad happened, but there was a thought in my mind of "if I could let him trot it out, and get some of the goobers out of his system, I'll have a horse that will wait it out while I walk & learn things at that gait."
Finished up with riding squares at walk. Total work time for him, 1 hour.
Watched Instructor ride one of her horses for about 40 minutes. She's a Paint-Trekhaener cross, Iris. Her movement is large, fluid, and slow. It's almost like she calculates every single footfall. Pretty neat. Iris worked on many many transitions, little figure eights with half circles at canter. It was incredible to see her gather up, walk to canter, 8-9 strides, and back to walk. Pretty cool. Iris ended with cavaletti, while Instructor demonstrated a light seat. Pretty cool to see the horse love her job, and stay in that same fluid trot. Most absolutely more energy in the trot, and a bit faster. That mare loves to jump, and it shows.
Plan for the afternoon is to lunge Chewie on side reins (give him a job & make him work for it), and be ready for another ground less & ride on Iris at 3.
more updates later. For now, I must continue to enjoy this fabulous slice..