4-25 I longed Harley, in the surcingle, on short and high side reins. The last time I attempted a surcingle and side reins, it was a hollow backed disaster. He fought them the entire time. Thursday, it seemed all the other hours longing paid off.
Harley had 25 minutes of really nice work. I was delighted. He finished up his work off the side reins at the walk. A huge, long, low stretched walk. The entire session was fantastic.
4-26 In an effort to test out the newly shortened side reins, which better mimic my hands when I'm riding, I rode dressage. He was again, amazing. I had a very nice forward trot, some amazing leg yields and shoulder in. The canter was the best it's been, and he is able to hold a few more strides every time.
4-27 I had the best made plans to ride both horses. Friday night, R and I found a copperhead snake in the barn, but were unable to trap him. When we realized it was a poisonous snake (and not a chicken/rat snake as originally considered), I made plans the next time I saw the snake, it would leave this world. Saturday evening, I saw the snake in the same spot it was on Friday. With a quick shot, (or two), the snake was dead. Harley and Mo, however, were way too close to the shot, and while we were all uninjured (except for the snake), neither horse was speaking to me. I lured and woo'd Harley back to loving me with a curry rub and a few cookies. Mo took the entire night to sulk and pout. I couldn't curry him long, and he wasn't really interested in the cookies. I understood both of them being afraid of me, and the barn in general. Day Off.
4-28 Mo had plans to run. He didn't tell me that until we got to the arena. He started tossing his head up high, and running off. All this was remedied with LOTS of long trot, varying loose rein and pushing him into contact. He finished the 40 minute ride pretty tired and submissive.
Harley, hunt seat. Knowing I need to work hard on his dressage, I also don't want him to forget how different the jump saddle feels. He was outstanding today. I got some great forward trot, he stayed relaxed when I lifted to 2 point. I even got about 6 strides of canter in 2point each way. Surprised me, because when he feels me move around, he'll break gait, almost every time. Tonight, he flicked an ear at me, and when I reassured him (not kiss/cluck), he went back to his job. Something wild rustled in the trees at the end of our ride. Harley pricked both ears at it, alerted me, then stood completely still until we convinced each other it wasn't going to cause us trouble.
Around the house, the flowers are growing, the arena is getting new fence, and the rains came. Saturday night into Sunday morning I estimate about 3" of rain at my house. Much needed, and I'm hopeful for more. There's a little water in the pond, and the arena is soft. It's a great time to ride. Still, if more rain blusters in here, I'll gladly take some time off to watch the rain.