Simply puy, Harley and I had a bad day Friday. Work was a little hectic Friday, and a bit frustrating, but not any worse than any day last year. I suspect, though, that it carried into my mood heading in the saddle, and Harley picked up on it.
He longed out just fine. Giraffe-head on the loose line, but he settled into his neck stretcher nicely. No problem, I thought. A little problem picking up left lead canter, but he easily came back to trot, and corrected himself. After twenty minutes or so longing, I figured he was ready to ride. Helmet, reins, phone on the mounting steps, and off we go.
It was downhill from there.
Halts were atrocious.. I had to settle for stopping on light rein, because it started out with a pull...
Walk was Mister Giraffe-Head... I had to settle for a choppy walk with a lowered neck.
Trot? ew. Again, I settled for forward, head and neck lowered ... NOT collected, just lowered.
He didn't want to walk nice. He didn't want to trot nice. He also didn't want to back up without tossing his nose around. Turn on forehand (i.e. disengage hindquarters)?! He moved INTO leg pressure at least three times before I dismounted, showed him on the ground what was expected. Then he got wiggly when I got back on.
After an hour total work, he settled a little, and I called it quits. He wasn't bucking/rearing/kicking. He did however, have a huge case of the head flipping, tail swishing fits. Nothing made him happy, until I was leading him back to the pasture after our ride. My bad mood transferred right into the saddle, and right into Harley's brain. MUST find a way to either stay off him on those days, or hide it in that back pocket of my mind I used to hide fear in.