I was lucky enough to have time to ride both Dino and Hugs Thursday night, and both were superstars!
I rode EuroPony first, and he was absolutely fantastic. I don't know if he was just feeling great because he had a day off and his teeth floated the day before, was feeling frisky in the cool weather, or if he just woke up on the right side of the stall, but Dino was so, so good!
We're really getting into a groove as far as warming up with light contact, and I'm finding that as I encourage proper body position, Dino is more than happy to provide the impulsion and forward movement. I'm really loving not having to fight tooth and nail for 'forward' anymore, and knowing that it will just come on its own.
Dino and I had a great warm up, and he was feeling confident and strong in his body. I jumped him over our little trot pole exercise a couple times to break things up before doing more serious flatwork, and D was a wild man! He ate up the little grid and galloped away. Such fun.
Luckily for me, Dino was more than happy to channel all his boisterous energy into some awesome dressage work. He was so soft and accepting of the bit that I could literally see saliva flying back from his mouth - the first time that's ever happened! We did some shoulder-in and haunches-in, and the more we worked on lateral movements the more balanced and compact-feeling Dino became.
The icing on the cake for this ride, though, was when I rode shoulder-in at the sitting trot down the long side, then kept the bend of the shoulder-in to move onto a 20m circle. About halfway around the circle I picked up the canter, and it was pretty much magical. Uphill, round, powerful, balanced, and I felt like I was directing my pony with my brainwaves. I couldn't be happier with how Dino has been going since our lesson! Of course then I let him be super lazy during our quick ride on Friday night while I practiced 2-point (17 minutes!!) so then Saturday morning he was kind of a bum. But we have another lesson on Tuesday night so we'll get a tune-up then.
After my fabulous ride on Dino on Thursday, it was time to get on Hugs.
|Hugsy has no patience for my selfie-taking nonsense.|
And she was PERFECT. Hugs and I had a great ride, working on lots of big loopy circles and figure-8's, getting the old girl to stretch and bend a bit. She's been really fun to ride while Jeannette is away, and I've enjoyed getting to sit on a different horse, especially such a well-behaved girl with such a good work ethic! But I'll be even happier when my riding buddy is back.