...pation! That was the name of the game in Monday's ride with Ransom. I saddled him up but lunged first (on the lunge line, in side reins on 8s). Nearly a half hour, and I kept telling him, "A little too much gas in the tank, my love.. a little too much gas", as he powered around me at a goofy trot & canter. Finally, he decided he was stretched out enough, and warmed up enough from his long weekend break.
I hopped on, and we worked on the key pieces of upcoming dressage tests.
* Circle 20m in the center with 2-5 steps of walk crossing the center line - Those went surprisingly well. He stayed mostly collected, and actually stepped under himself at the walks. Really cool!
* 2-loop serpentines - a bit to be done, as I wasn't looking ahead, and had to almost pull him out of the corners to keep the loops, um, loopy. :)
* Trots down the diagonals - very well, Very straight. Keep my eyes over & past the diagonal letter, and we'll stay straight
* Long free walk down diagonal - again, I need to keep eyes focused (not as good as the trot work)
* Long walk down two diagonals, for example M-X-F - very good. Shocked me how straight the lines were, and that he stayed long & low in the direction change.
Then we took a halt break at the mounting block. I had a quick drink, and we stood, still, dismounted. After a few minutes, I hopped back on.
Worked on a few trot to halt transitions (which were pretty), and a little bit of canter work. Admittedly, I'd left my helmet in the trailer, not planning to do more than trot. But my boy looked so darn good on the side reins, I wanted to see if he was riding that smoooooth. ooh ooh ooh! I love my new saddle. I actually felt my seat pushing him at a controlled stride heading both directions. Cantered circles, and one trip around the arena each direction.
Walked a bit, then halted, and dismounted, again. A few more minutes of "standing and thinking". By now, an hour had passed since we started, including warm up. This would begin the mental test of whether he would hold up and concentrate after an hour.
I got back on, and worked on walk to halt. A few were really nasty. I quickly shoved him into a big trot, let him try to tell me he wanted to walk, pushed him a tad further, and then asked for a halt. Trot to halt was gorgeous! Went back to walk, worked on walks to halt - not so bad now. Repeated trot to walk, and walk to halt, on the circle, both directions. Finished up with lots of long and low walk, a few halts on a sigh & "whoa" to keep his mind active through the cool down.
A much better ride than the lesson day. The plan of "Ride a little, and take a break" was great for me (!), and I think a good teaching tool for Ransom. Lather, Rinse, Repeat! Back to work on Wednesday.
I feel a goof-off day tonight with Romeo ahead.. Haven't played with the Little Man since before "vacation", so I'm looking forward to that.