Yesterday was possibly, dare I say it, the best ride I've had on Pia. Ever.
Pia, thoroughly impressed with herself during our ride. Ham-face.
After Tuesday, and Tuesday v2.0... I was thinking about how I could possibly try to skip the drama and get straight to our pretty, pretty trot work that I've been growing so fond of. I'd love to say that I had a grand plan for obtaining it, but in reality I was so tired and burned out from work yesterday (I've been preparing a legal appeal all week) that I could barely figure out which way to turn on the highway in order to get to the barn.
I decided that I just wasn't mentally capable of putting up a fight. I didn't have it in me to be pissy, or make sure that the mare knew who was boss. I just couldn't muster it. It's not to say that I was sad, or mopey, I was just flat out braindead. I can only imagine what activity would (or wouldn't) have shown up if a doctor were in a room somewhere monitoring me.. Though I imagine their comments would have been something along the lines of "Hmmm, intriguing. Her motor skills appear to be in tact, yet we see know signs of normal brainwave activity. In fact, her readings correspond with that of a deep coma. Nurse... check the monitor..."
Yeah, comatose. Or living dead if we want to be seasonally appropriate.... ANYWAY.
So I tacked the mare up quickly and simply decided that we would have a calm ride. I just decided it. Not sure what that means really, but I was very committed to calm. P seemed to oblige and wasn't too uppity as we walked to the ring and I just got on.
Now, the girl is cold backed, and I lunge her about 80% of the time before I ride, so I let her have a nice long amble around the ring for about 15 minutes before even asking for the trot. Good news? she was calm, willing to be on the buckle, and also willing to work in the walk without any ridiculous jigging. I took these both as good signs.
She was sticky as we moved up into the trot for the first time (typical) and she pulled all of her usual antics: Cow kicking, biting her own chest (I still don't quite understand that one) and hunching her back away from my leg. But she finally un-stuck and trotted on. After about a minute of asking (nicely) for her to move forward, she just unlocked. She lifted her back, softened her poll and just floated around the ring.
I zig zagged and swirled around. P was a bit sticky about staying between my aids, but it didn't take long for her to accept them and willingly travel straight on the circle... no open side shenanigans, no fussy mouth. Just nice, easy, calm trot work.
I was so excited, I kept looking around, hoping that someone would roll down the driveway to witness this miracle, but no one did. So I just got to cherish the moment alone with Miss Pia. Which was ok too.
All told, we probably ended up working for 45 minutes with some decent walk brakes thrown in. Pia barely broke a sweat, where she's usually drenched by the 20 minute mark. I think it was a combo of it being a less strenuous workout along with the fact that she wasn't all fussy and tense the whole time.
We even got a few outstanding leg yields in. I didn't want to push the lateral work, instead I was focused on reinforcing the forward, calm, accpting work we had, but she was great. Since she's so darn smart, I had to make the mare work straight down the quarter and centerline about 10 times before she stopped anticipating the leg yield..
But when I did ask? She moved graciously away from my leg, staying very balanced (for a wobbler) and mostly forward while she did it. She got lots of praise and pats for that one... What a star.
Lots of increase/decrease again, and I focused on really maintaining our balance instead of focusing on getting a "response" from her at my ask. She really took to that well and I think we had some awesome "pushed" into medium as a result.
This mare continues to astound me. In August, we had to practically beat her up in order to get her to play nice, and any attempts at babying her resulted in her taking control and acting like a loon. Now, she seems resistance to the firm hand, and seemed to love the quiet, gentle ask.
Man, this lady keeps me on my toes. Makes me glad I don't date women, as I can only imagine how this manifests itself in the human variety....I mean, wow.
Considering the fact that I almost bailed on the barn in favor of my couch and some ramen, I am so, so, so glad I chose to go left instead of right on the freeway. A nice, calm, easy ride was just what I needed.
Today, we're trying a lesson, though I gave the BO download on our successes yesterday, so I'm hoping we can work the same sort of routine in today.. Let's hope it still works!
Happy Friday All!
PS- look, slobber! Not exciting for most people, but foamy white soft slobber??? Yessssss she's accepting the bit! Vetwrap, ghetto bit WIN!