Dino was kind of a hot mess yesterday.
His blanket rubs have turned into Giant Bald Spots where he's basically shed out totally naked, like he did last year in random places. I slather him in Corona to keep his skin protected and moisturized while we wait for hair to grow, and then dirt sticks to it, and then the ointment kind of melts into his furry legs, and it's just a disgusting mess.
He's also been naked for the past week or so, since he has no hair on his shoulders and a blanket would definitely irritate his skin. Dino has been very diligent about grinding as much dirt as possible into his still-fluffy coat every day, so he is essentially a walking dust bunny. Whenever I think I've brushed all the dust off, I pat him and another cloud poofs up.
And then there was yesterday's ride.
My goal/plan for the day was to have a nice, productive ride on the flat and start upping the ante a little bit and ask Dino to really start using himself more.
This was going okay, until I asked him to go sideways.
He did not respond. At all. Not even a half-hearted drift. Nothin'. In either direction.
So we had to have a serious talk about how Inside Leg Means Go Sideways, and it involved a lot of poking with spurs and smacking with sticks and a stressed-out pony. I admit that I got a little over-emotional at one point, but even if he's not the fittest thing ever right now, Dino has to be obedient and at least willing to try. Once we practiced a million leg yields and moving into the corners, I was able to take the energy level down and get both of us to relax and work calmly. We ended the ride in a really good place, and Dino got to jump a couple crossrails for all of his hard effort on the flat.
On a positive note, his walk is getting REALLY good. Like his stride is getting longer good. Like I can go from a loose-rein stretch to working walk without any llama impressions or loss of rhythm or impulsion good. Like his back feels like a beach ball good. It gives me hope for his trot and canter!