We're on day four of Trainer A's vacation. Theo isn't too sure what to think of me unsupervised. Instead of a lesson yesterday, he had some ground work. I had him in a surcingle and triangle reins, working on his transitions while having absolutely steady contact. He gave me some lovely stretching over his back, stepping up underneath himself and releasing through his sides.
Then he gave me a scoot at the canter, like we've been encouraging. Cool, let it all out, mi papi. Right up until I trip over my own feet in the outdoor, fall on my face, spook my horse, and send him careening up to the barn in full lunging gear. Fan-freaking-tastic. Fortunately he went in a straight line up a wide path and no harm done. The girls at the barn grabbed him and I made the walk of shame to retrieve him. And explain what happened. No, Theo did not freak out and get away. I fell down. All on my own.
Does that count for my horse fall total?
I got on him bareback to cool him out and ended up showing some kids that it's possible to trot and canter without a saddle or bareback pad. Theo thought I was a dork.
Today I decided to give him a serious business dressage school since the vet was out for spring shots and I'm sure he'll be sore and/or feeling icky tomorrow. It's ridiculous the number of shots a show horse has to get. We also did Coggins and the pull to have him tested for Vitamin E and selenium levels. He looked like a pin cushion, both hips and both sides of his neck got hit. And one right up the nose.
He was a bit resistant when we started, heavy in my hands and kicking out when asked to canter on, but once he was mentally with me, he gave me some nice work. I'm still working on increasing how long he can hold his canter. His strength improved more than his cardio this winter, so he has to build up some endurance. We did connecting circles, flexing one way, then straight, then flex the other way. That broke up the resistance and got him to stop hanging on my hands. Some half passe at the walk to get him the heck off of my leg and then we lengthened across the diagonal. Spiffy! Also some practice free walking and doing the stretchy circle. He has to learn to not dive down at the first sign of a release. Forward and out as well as down, mi papi.
And then we played soccer.
He's getting the idea. Of course I couldn't record video when he had the idea enough to chase the ball and shove, chase the ball and shove. He was considering trotting and I wanted to keep both hands on the reins in case he got too wound up with the fun.
Theo says: Hurry home and save me, Trainer A! This woman is crazy!