I’m a little sad to be missing out this year but my bank account surely isn’t.
Last night I rode up in the top ring by myself. The footing was great, it had been freshly harrowed. This is what made me realize that Tucker and I are drunken sailor straight going down the long sides. I usually ride off the rail. Tucker I guess tries to fall back onto the rail. Typical really, he’s the laziest! So having the fence hold him is way less work than listening to my aids to hold him out and straight.
There’s a good 5 feet between the fence and the line of jumps that was set. Our foot track was almost windy enough to call it a serpentine. It’s not normally so bad when the ring isn’t fresh or maybe I just don’t notice it.
Thankfully, once we warmed up our straightness got much better.
I started the ride again at the walk. Insisting that he move forward. And he did. Without much struggle at all. Strange considering how warm it was last night. I mean he was sweating before I even brought him out of his stall warm.
But whatever, I’ll take your forward and raise you some circles and counter flexed circles while staying forward. And he did that too. A few laps of trot to really warm up and then I started to ask for forward with contact.
As per usual I do a lot of transitions to reinforce the forward. I expect and immediate response back into the gait I’m asking for. I didn’t just get immediate, I got explosive. But good explosive. Like I wish John was there taking more flat picture. We halted, I asked for the trot, his shoulder came up and he moved out into a nice extended (dare I saw almost floaty) trot. I played around with this for a while, walk, halt, trot, sit trot. Always moving forward, no plodding along. I’m not sure what happened to my horse but I like it. I really hope this is the start of what he’s turning into. We’ve been doing a lot of work to get to this kind of ride.
From there we did a bit of leg yielding down the fence line, then some turns on the haunches and forehand (those were a little better last night too), some canter, and 4 perfect lead changes. We finished with that. I could not have asked for a better ride.
Has your horse ever surprised you?