I realize a lot of posts recently are basically me gushing about what an awesome horse I have. Well, in fairness, Lucky IS an awesome horse. Today was very, very hot, so I did not set out intending to ride for long. As much for me as for him, as I really don’t want a repeat of the heat prostration episode. I always feel torn between the sense I’m not doing enough, but not wanting to do too much at one time. Today just enough was some circles (generally in the vicinity of twenty meters) and changes of direction across the diagonal at the trot, and more canter transitions. Lucky still cross-canters at times. He apparently went out for a trial with a dressage barn and was sent back because he didn’t want to swap leads behind. Their loss, my gain. But we managed our first circle at the canter today that more or less bent the correct direction and stayed the same size.
We also jumped again. This time, we had rails down, but on the first try, he did in fact canter to the oxer and take it without a stop. I wouldn’t exactly call it a back-cracker, but it was a jump. I need to work on my landings, though–in the interest of not slamming his back or mouth, I’m not exactly sitting down per se. It’s probably a better workout to do everything in two-point, but when the fences get higher or he decides to make a last-minute change of direction, I may be in some trouble. Not that I anticipate the former happening for a while, though he certainly shows more interest in the higher fences than poles or low crossrails. He’ll also canter off, or stop, after a fence, whichever is asked for.
And I really do need to borrow a Western saddle, and sort out a Western bridle (since he seems to exhibit a distaste of some sort for snaffles, or at least the cheek pieces as he’ll go nicely in a jointed kimberwicke, the trick will be figuring out a bit) and see what he thinks, because he is dreadfully, dreadfully quick to catch on to the idea of barrels. Given the heat, we didn’t do much today, but after jumping twice we tried a couple runs around the cans. I started with a trot, but Lucky didn’t object to picking up a canter, or to stretching out a bit after the last barrel. And when I turned him back to try again, he picked up a canter on his own. He’s still not flexible enough yet to really turn and burn, but he’s more than willing to try. Which, truth to tell, is more enthusiasm than he’s shown for jumping. Maybe the competitive drive translates.