I grabbed Ransom after work for a dressage refresher. I forced him through about ten minutes free lunge hard warmup, with quite the bit of protest. He wasn't impressed with my choice of hard work... ;)
I rode him without the poles just a little wee bit, then hopped through the trot cavaletti work. Absolute magic. Beautiful. Hop Hop Hop Hop as he bounced his trot through all four. It feels pretty neat heading in and through them.
Rode just an eensie bit of canter on flat before attempting the canter poles. Yet another disaster. He canters right to them, then breaks to a sinister trot, and ramps back up into a canter in the middle of them. Yuck! Very hard to balance for, releases were nearly impossible. When he did get them all at canter, they felt racey-chasey, strung out, and almost frightening.
Frustrated, I took it back to the ground, with a snotload of canter & trot transitions each way. He was NOT allowed to stop transition work until that snarky little noggin of his stayed down in the transitions. Too many hours in jump saddle... leads to pony forgetting he is the dressage monsteras well. I put a solid twenty minutes in all flat work, all transitions. With a small number of pretty ups & downs, I walked him out and called it done.
Total work about 40 minutes. I was frustrated he was sooo horrible at the canter poles. I sent Jen word that they need some serious fixing. Was it him? Did he misunderstand the pattern? Is it me? Am I not using enough leg? Are my hands saying "no"? Are the half-halts too halting, and I'm indirectly asking for trot? What could possibly be causing all this disobendience in a normally agreeable horse?
Trot cavaletti was magic again. canter poles? not so much. rode & worked for 40 min. short b/c riding him tomorrow & again on Sunday