Ransom saddled up in dressage, but his hunter full cheek slow twist bit. And, boy o boy, he still wasn't real happy, and after some brief lunge line side reins, we argued a little when I got on.
There was no getting that pretty little head down, and all he wanted to do was toss it up like an elephant trunk. Booger. After a little effort, he finally calmed down, and decided my way was significantly easier than his way.
We worked through the "Pieces & Parts" of both tests - well, the trot to canter transitions and circles in the center, at least. I did two far-side short end transitions into canter to the center circle, and two near-side short end transitions to the center circle. He did much, MUCH better on my easy leg cues into the canter. In fact, one of the requests on the far-side was supposed to be a near-side ask, and he picked it up early. That could be a serious disaster in the show, but, for that one moment, I enjoyed the snot out of it. Why? Because we're starting to ride as a team - and he's starting to read my subtle body language, antici-pating the request before I ask. I sat the trot, tucked my toosh, and was thinking "okay, squeeze in the next corner, look for the circle", and he was in the canter. Smooth as ice. Just awesome... He also gave me two solid halts at X. Neither were perfect, but he did stop through only a step or three of walk. I'll take it. With strength and muscle, and the next week and a half, it can't get anywhere but better.
I kept the ride fairly short.. 45 minutes including lunge warmup. After our initial argument, he settled in very very nicely. After the test pieces, I worked on trot to walk, and walk to halt. His trot to walk is getting really nice. Walk to halt still needs work, but hopefully it'll improve as I keep riding.
I do wish I had time to ride or at least lunge briefly tonight, but I'm not seeing it yet. maybe, just maybe, if I sneak out of work an hour early... that would be enough time to get a lunge in, to keep him stretched & thinking .... hmmmm... 3:00, 3:45, 4:00-4:45 lunge, shower, supper around 6:00... hmmmmm...
Talk me into or out of it, folks... =) There's a thought, ain't it?! Have a great Wednesday. I'll try to snag some song lyrics & stuff 'em in here somewhere today.
CountDown to Sienna ... 12 days