However, the 60 degree sunshine and perfectly peaceful Prairie made it hard to be too fussy about anything, let alone to fixate on past sins.
S had us warm up with easy, relaxed shoulder-in at the walk and a few leg yields "against the rail" but really we did them on the quarter line.
Up into the trot, we shoulder-in-ed down the long side, then turned up the centerline focusing on total straightness before changing rein and shoulder-in-ing down the next long side. Prair was good. Even trotting away from the scary end she was soft, relaxed and dare I say.. lazy?
We moved up into the canter for our long side shoulder-ins, but transitioned to a trot for our centerline. Then we started maintaining the canter and utilizing simple changes before changing reins.
After about 20 min of soft, lovely cantering, with a focus on mobilizing Prair's shoulder both with shoulder-in and a bit of counter-bend in our turn to the centerline, we removed the simple change and replaced it with a flying change. (dum dum duuuummmmmm).
The plan was to stay absolutely straight down the centerline, then prior to the change ask for some shoulder-in (true to the first lead) and then ask for the change.
We got it every time. (except once but I'm omitting that because every time sounds way more impressive than almost every time).
I think the shoulder-in made sure that Prair was off her forehand and stepping under..before asking her to swap leads. I don't really know if that's why everything was magical, but it worked and I liked it.
Every time Prair got a clean change we'd walk and pat her for a few minutes before striking back up again for the other lead. Because of all the good lead changes, she got a lot of walk breaks which means we probably only "worked" for 30 min, but all 30 min were fabulous and enjoyable and efficient.
I could not have been more proud. She was so quiet and soft and willing. No stress or anxiety at all, and she didn't even bat an eyelash at the construction crew working 20 feet from the outdoor arena.
Stellar mare. Possibly a top 10 ride on her to date...
Lots of carrots and pats and then she got put out in her new summer field for some grasses.
|good mares get lots of grasses|