Sunday, July 19, 2009

Or maybe it wasn't a fluke after all

Today was another amazing ride on Saga. We rode in the outdoor arena today, since it was actually cloudy and there was a breeze (alas, we didn't get the promised rain). It was only 83 degrees at 8 a.m., not bad at all.

Once again, our walk warmup focused on serpentines, but it wasn't as focused as usual since I was working a bit with my husband. Still, it went well, and we then did some trotting on a loose rein. I noticed today that he was less forward than usual, I think he wasn't as forward yesterday either. Not so much that it was bad, per se, just that it wasn't quite as much like riding a racehorse as it usually is. I also got some canter in both directions in the warmup, and to the right when I asked and reinforced it with my whip, I got a bit of a hop. Nothing serious, just him letting me know that he didn't think he had to canter right away when I asked, and me letting him know that playtime is over, and yes, he does.

After a walk break we went into serious trot work. And doyaknowwhat, the trot was there again today. I did have some trouble getting him forward and over his back, as he kept wanting to suck back, but he was steady and even in both reins and there was definite improvement to the left. We did have some jaw-setting head-tilting moments left, but when I remembered to let go of my left rein and ask for more forward, it resolved immediately. It's amazing how nicely your horse goes when you ride right!

Anyway, the trot work was brilliant. I asked for a bit of shoulder fore down the long side both directions, and got it. AT THE TROT. It was wonderful! We still have lots and lots of work to do on steady rhythm and coming over the back all the time, but the good moments are by far exceeding the OMG horrible moments.

On to the canter. It must just have been our day, I don't know. On the left lead canter depart, he started to run into it but I brought him back and asked again, and he got it almost right off. Not pretty, but SO much more responsive. We did some very nice 20 m circles and a shallow serpentine on the long side, and he really sat back, came from behind, and was steady and soft in the front. Wow! To the right the departure was very clean (yay!) and the canter was so balanced and steady. I swear I don't know where this horse came from! I even asked for a bit of lengthening down the long side, and the canter just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. What an incredible feeling! Saga's apparently got some big movements in there, and I'm so excited to see them starting to come out.

Tomorrow he gets the night off, but it's back to work on Tuesday. I'm so excited that our dressage work is finally progressing, I'm actually starting to look forward to the fall show season!

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