|reverse psychology in action...|
Dino was in a GREAT mood yesterday, and I don't know why, but I'm rolling with it.
I'm sure it doesn't hurt that I made the effort to be patient with him instead of letting myself get frustrated and emotional.
Weird how good riding works that way.
In any case, we had an awesome ride in the absolutely awesome sunshine. I wish it could be 73 and sunny forever!
I ditched my stirrups for the warm-up, trying to get my crookedness worked out a bit. It's a little easier to sit evenly without stirrups to brace against, and I really tested myself a few times by taking my legs completely away from my pony's sides. Dino spent our warm-up period doing a lot of long-and-low walk and trot, and he was extremely willing and polite about the whole thing. He didn't once make a fuss about going forward.
We had a not-very-prompt but also not-dramatic first transition up to canter, and Dino was just so relaxed and pleasant. I was very pleased!
After our stretchy warm up, we worked on exercises that would encourage Dino to start changing his balance and carrying us more on his hind end. As we both continue to get fitter, I have to stay on top of my pony's carriage to make sure he's building the right muscles and we move towards self carriage.
We did a lot of counter-canter and haunches-in - I find that both of these movements displace Dino's body just enough that he really has to hold himself correctly in order to balance. He wasn't super through in any of the work we did, but definitely put forth a good effort, and I can't complain about a pony ready and willing to do his job! Some smaller canter circles also did a lot to help Dino find a better, more uphill balance. Both of us definitely got a good workout!
We ended the ride with a handful of small fences as a reward for EuroPony, and he was just awesome over everything, especially when I worked with him to ride FORWARD to a distance instead of waiting it out.
When this guy is good, he's SO good.