Harley up first, jump saddle. Naughty boy! His warm up was very lazy, so I hopped on pretty quickly. He chose to head left first, with some really nice trot & canter work. Then the naughty began. I turned him right, his trot was short, and when I asked for a canter, he bucked up in back. "NO!" I hollered, pulling his head around. I sent him back out at the trot, still short & choppy. I asked for another canter. More bucking. "NO! That will NOT be tolerated!" I slapped his neck more for the noise than pain. I sent him back out at the trot, and couldn't get any kind of forward, just head tossing and a fussy "I'll go anywhere I want to" kind of attitude. I hopped off, backed him up hard, scolded him again. I sent him back out on the longe line, immediately to canter-right. He threw another baby fit, then tore off at a big extended canter. "I told you. You can, you just don't want to." When it became apparent he was giving up, I got back on. Immediately back to right circle, at a trot. NOW I was getting a nice forward trot. I asked for a canter, being sure to have heels down. I sat only to ask, and as soon as he cantered up, I lifted off his back just a bit. We cantered a few circles, and I let him trot. Lather, rinse, repeat. Lots of trot-canter-trot, more right than left. I had intended to only briefly canter, and work more on lengthening/shortening trot stride in our continued adjustment to the new saddle. Harley had other plans, apparently.
Romeo was equally ornery, well, for Mo that is. His walk warm up he was lazy and slow. I asked for trot, and had to get after him to get more than a trippy/shuffly jog. I asked for a gentle canter, and got the impression all he wanted to do was run. We worked on some counter-canter, which he did NOT enjoy. Both times we got back to the "correct lead direction", he let out a heavy sigh. hmm.. note to self.. counter-canter Harley in the dressage saddle soon Again in some easy canter, he wanted to run, and so we did, hand-galloping at least one lap around the arena. I tried a few rollbacks, and the more we did, the better they got. Two simple lead changes and we were done.
Felt good to ride both on a work night. I hope for more of the same all weekend. Well, minus the whole bucking fits.