Harley, jump saddle. Longed (minus side reins) for about 10 minutes. Quiet, submissive warmup. Hopped on (via mounting block, since any stretching on my chest seems to aggravate the whole chest/heart situation), and off we went. Sticky. Lazy. Obstinate. Grr! Okay, so once he was finally walking, we were off. Worked on some serpentines and circles at walk. Up to trot, and more of the same. He finally started to relax, and loosen up. Whew. Loosening his body and mind took another 10 minutes.
Canter, didn't have a single small circle. Started on a 20m circle at L/I, depending which side we were on, finish the circle towards A/C, head down long side, short side, next long side, then back to trot around the opposite A or C. If circle started at L, half 20m circle to A, canter A/F/B/M, C/H/E/K, back to trot between A and L on the circle. Easier to ride than explain. Same in opposite. He stayed IN canter, didn't try to break, didn't fuss. Rode the lines better than the half circles. Took a short walk break, 5 minutes, mostly stretching down walk. A nice steady forward walk at that.
Down trot poles 3x each way. One time through on one end of the poles, another on the middle, and finally the other end of the poles. Changed it up depending which side we were coming from. Didn't have any kind of pattern other than "go over, pick a spot on the poles, then find a treetop to stare at".
Big long walk break. By now, I'd been riding about 25 minutes. I had planned a half hour/35 minutes total. I figured, "oh, I'll skip the canter poles today. I'll just ride a little bit more at canter, and we'll be done." By now, my heart was working good & hard, but it felt good. Up to canter, "oh heck with it. I'm doing those @#% poles. We can DO this."
Canter poles heading right twice, no break in gait. He was fantastic!! I was super glad I did it. He didn't try to break gait, and with gentle smooches from me just before and over the poles, they were smooth sailing. Walk break, next up left.
Left canter poles - first over, he stumbled in front (heavy on the forehand), but got himself back together just before to stay in canter over them. Made the short side, heading down long side with intent on doing it again. He broke. Straight to trot. I sat deep and asked again. .No Go. NOTHING was getting Harley back into that canter without a fight. I asked him to walk to re-group. So I thought.
My heart was POUNDING. I felt like my head could pop off at any moment. Whew.. Lots of heavy breathing.. More than I realized I was doing. Enough to make me quite nervous. Harley knew better than me. "I've had my fill for the day, haven't I Harley?" He let out a huge sigh, dropped his head, and shook it just a bit. "Okay. We're done. You know better than me when I've had enough." We walked it out and went back to the house.
Today we'll dive back into dressage. I'm planning on riding TL#1 again, and seeing where the bugs are. Perhaps I'll ride like it's a show - lots of walk/trot serpentines and circles, make me a pony-noodle, ride the test and see where the bugs are. I suspect things will go well today, and the only "bug" will be that stretchy trot circle. Depends how good the warmup section of the ride goes.
I intend on a walk on Mo after that. Heh.. We'll see. Maybe Harley will let me know if I'm up for it or not.