We had our day off, now it's time to get back to work.
I rode for about 25 minutes with real determination. His transition down the centerline to X was a little bit better, a bit more relaxed. Still not real pleased with his giraffe-head at X. Hoping to improve that a bit this week. What does impress me, is his long-neck free walk. He has all but ceased tossing his head & pulling the bit out of my hands. I need to wiggle-wiggle those fingers to keep his attention, spread my hands just a bit apart for him to recognize it's a stretchie walk, but at least he's not sensing the break and yanking on my hands. Much improved from our July show.
Rode through most of Training test 2. It was getting a bit warm out, and despite some breaks, he was breathing pretty hard. So, I opened the arena gates, and we went walking. On very light contact, around the open parts of his pasture. It was almost serene, his head bobbling around, varying that walk stride, focusing my apprehension on trees. Yup, on trees. Rather than get anxious about being out of the arena, and afraid he'd get spooked and give me a flying lesson, I was concentrating on riding from one tree, to another tree, to another tree.
We played together for nearly 45 minutes including the long walk. Had fun. Now, starting Monday, it's back to serious intense training. I'll figure in one more goof-off day in there somewhere, maybe Wednesday, if I skip choir.
I gave him a brief hosing soapy bath with one of those "hose on, rinse off" products. This will happen again Saturday morning, with some scrubbing added in. I also trimmed his mane up, and clipped bridle path, ears, face, and feet. He's starting to sparkle, and I can tell by his general disposition he knows something is coming, and soon. Get your game face on, big buddy. We're fixin' to go sparkle at a fancy show! Get ready to go show 'em what a big fancy show horse looks like, huh?
Countdown to Sienna show .... 7 days.
Weather men are playing with my mind, with a significant prediction of storms a few days this week. Bah humbug.. Maybe it'll rain & soak in, settling the mixed up arena a bit, and give us some slightly cooler riding weather.