Last night I wiled the hours away with wine and and friends as I slowly (sorta) decorated my
Loft for the holidays.
Adding to the glee of an under-scheduled weekend was the fact that P was a gem last night during our ride.
She was shockingly loose and calm allowing us to really work on stretching her over her back and maintain a rhythm.
In 45 minutes we managed to get more good transitions and suppling done than we have in the last few months (ta-da!)
I haven't wanted to jinx it, but since we switched up her bit last weekend, the mare has had consistently normal and productive rides... Basically, good mare + no alarm + freshly decorated house = excellent morning. So I grabbed the puppy and darted out the door in search hot coffee and some sort of pastry. Fortunately for me, I was actually up early enough to snag a coveted ham and cheese croissant (massive massive weakness/addiction).
After my ideal wake up and breakfast I loaded up the car and headed out to see the princess When I got to the barn, the mare looked as calm and happy as she did yesterday and continued her content as a clam attitude as we tacked up and tried out our fancy new girth (love).
Since mostly I'm in love with the mare at the moment, I'll spill the bad news first:
She broke another (third, 3,tres) set of reins.
I managed to get all the way to the ring without realizing that I still didn't have my boots on, so I threw Pia at the BO and ran back to the barn to finish getting ready.... When I ran back, I could see P galavanting around the arena with snapped reins streaming out behind her like some sort of tragic flag.
I stifled my brief desire to scream, reminded myself that this is why I school her in cheap reins, switched out to a fourth set and hopped on.
Pia was stickier than she's been all week, but we warmed up long and low and managed to get the most relaxed, even start to a ride we've ever had (yay!).
We worked lots of transitions and focused on me keeping her on my outside rein and disconnecting my inside rein from my half halts entirely.
The fact that we were able to school so many transitions and focus on the details without worrying about bucking or biting or general snottiness was a compete joy.
It's almost like maybe, just maybe we worked on some dressage. :)
All in all, we made it through some good leg yields in the trot and canter, shoulder in and lots of stretchy trot. The quality of her gaits got a little worse toward the end and she started falling to her forehand, but given her willingness and good work early on, I'm giving P the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe, she was tired and fatiguing.
Afterward I loitered around the barn grooming and cleaning tack before the rains started (we're slated for 3"). The puppy was not exactly thrilled about the change in weather or that she had to sit around the barn for so long. She's more of a couch dog than a barn dog...
That is the face of an animal begging to be returned to her fireside bed...
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