I was a little apprehensive about what was in store for our ride when P was extra impatient in the cross ties PLUS one of the TB's who lives outside had decided the world was certainly ending so he was screaming his bloody head off without pause. She was doing her best impression of a giraffe the entire time and stomping and swishing and putting her mouth EVERYWHERE. I'll admit it was sort of a losing battle.
Anyway, my brain was adding up the extra energy and heardbound-ness and I wasn't loving the predicted outcome. But, off we went. Tacked up and headed for the ring just as two riders were finishing up and heading in to most definitely steal P's dinner (or so she was certain).
She was a little counterflexed on the lunge and obsessed with the barn, but she got over that once she figured out that looking at the barn meant she got to work harder (clever beast).
She was back to sticky when I got on (not loving this pattern), but true to form, she moved past it after two kicking/smacking circles and off we went. After two laps I was GRINNING. P (admittedly wound up) was expressing herself in a totally acceptable fashion - balanced, springy trot work. It was a little harder to work the tension out of her neck than it usually is, but eventually I got her long and low for some big loops and circles as we warmed up... My primary challenge was convincing P that neither the poop in the far corner nor the wet spot on the wall by a sprinkler were going to eat her. She was giving them a wiiiiiiiiiiide berth when we passed and was doing a fantastic job of shying away when I actually held her straight by them.
Finally she relented on the poop and admitted that it wasn't scary.... to the right.
Still terrifying to the left apparently, so I popped into the canter and we just jumped the damn pile instead of avoiding it (weird, weird mare).
When we returned to the trot I asked for P to maintain a little more contact and brought her up to something around a training level/first level frame. one half halt and whooo boy! I'm sure it wasn't that dramatic, but to me it felt like she just sat and lifted her shoulders. That led to some seriously fun big trot around the ring. I couldn't take my eyes off the mirrors - the mare. looked. (and felt). AMAZING.
Her little toes were snapping out in front, she was sitting back, and her back was just soft through the bend....
I rode that carnival ride for about 10 minutes then decided that if she was going to be that forward and balanced that 25 minutes of hard work was more than enough.
I'll take it!
Next up... remembering to actually set the video camera up and cross my fingers that it captures something other than me catapulting through the air....