Harley was up first this morning. Mid 70s temperatures, relatively low humidity for the time of year. I was late getting started, honestly. It was cooler (but more humid) an hour earlier, but being vacation, I slept. Late.. On purpose. :)
With Harley saddled, and free longed a few minutes, I realized he wasn't in the mood to work, at all. He wanted to piddle along, mosey, be lazy. Didn't want to go, didn't want to rush off. So I hopped on.
Immediately, as I shortened my reins a bit, he gave the most beautiful collected walk. I lavished him with praise and pats. Wow. Terrific. Rode a bit on a longer rein trot & canter. He was a bit more awake, but still being lazy. At our first canter left, something startled him in the brush, and he tried to get out of the work - ducking to the outside about one stride. Apparently, muscle memory from "playing the spook tapes in my head" took over, as I sat up tall, and stayed with him. It was a small reaction on his part, so I praised him and sent him forward immediately. A half circle of trot, and right back to canter. Neighbor's dog barked -- ahh, so someone's outside next door. That explains it.
Neighbor fired up a chainsaw to shorten some tree limbs he'd cut previously, and Harley hardly reacted. More praise and pats. Good reaction. See it, notice it, but don't crawl outta yer skin. After the spook, it took a while longer on serpentines & tight circles to get his neck & ribs bending. Once he started cooperating, I shortened the reins.
Down to business. Super. He was still being a little lazy (I thought), so I wandered to a part of the arena I hadn't used with fresh "unhoofed" dirt. When I saw near-tracking hoof prints, I quit pushing so hard. How nice, I didn't even realize he wasn't moving out. More canter, and he tried breaking after the first line. I sent him back to it, and worked some lines again. Better, so it was probably me relaxing a bit too much.
I sat some trot, and he burst forward. Fantastic! I was hardly wiggling in the tack as well, which can only mean he was a bit collected - I can't sit it if he's hollow at all . I bounce all about. We also worked on halt/trot/halt, and they were superb. I guess he remembered from his last lesson at that. :) Super!!
Worn down from Harley's ride, I kept things simple with Mo. I put him out on the longe line, and he took off. Bat outta h-e-double-hockey-sticks took off. It was hysterical. He wasn't hanging on the line, and if he'd bump it, he'd change directions, and take off again. Bucking, crowhopping, kicking out, the works. He ran like a nut for a good 20 minutes, then settled. I got some nice walk on the circles, and a slow jog. I hopped on in his halter & lead rope a few minutes, got a little walk and some jog. Neighbor was still chainsawing beside the arena, and he was definitely tuned to it. booger
Day 1 of ride vacation - total success. I'm anxious for our next lesson on Saturday. I wonder what we'll work on. I've got zero plans, but I am certainly ready for something new.