Memorial Day weekend was a bit chilly - WHY!? I am so ready for summer, but it keeps prolonging warmer weather. I didn't ride Saturday or Sunday because I wasn't motivated by the wind and clouds. On the way to a BBQ on Monday, I finally got some sun and Chris came with me. He hasn't seen me on Spyder in a while so it was fun to show him what we have been working on. He took videos so stay tuned because I hope to get them up to YouTube soon!
After Spyder was slobbering all over my arms while I tightened his nose band (guess he was liking the salt? or just tasting me like he tastes everything that comes near his face), I went out to the big field because the cross country field is beyond overgrown. To my surprise, only the perimeter and the dressage field were cut... still. This was going to make for a boring ride, but I decided to start with the perimeter of the field, once in each direction. I got back around the field to Chris (while working on my bit pressure and Spyder fighting back - you'll see in the videos my bad posture and horrible leg), and I realized something. This time last year, I just started riding him out to this ring, and it made me so happy to know now I wasn't scared. When I told Chris he said, "Really? I thought you would have come out here!" Happy moment for me because I am more trusting of Spyder as we've become a much better team, and his attitude is getting better with time and patience.
After we went around a bit, I moved into the dressage ring to canter. Videos to follow. His canter was a bit more pacey than usual, but I think Chris gets my problem too. Laziness. Spyder is SO lazy, and I try to excite him at any gait. What am I supposed to do to make our lack of skill/ability to do all that much fun and exciting for him? I push and push and push, and he is hard to make move. He'll do it, but with no excitement. BORING! I brought him out into the field to see if that would excite him more, and it did a bit. We just can't get lines... straight is an issue, and it's my fault for not working on that more. I will have to figure out how to push him out better... OR, I'll have to bring it back to trot to work on leg/rein commands to get the lines better. Things are always harder at a faster speed! We don't have all that much control going at the canter so that is partially the issue. The other issue is the need to canter and hold it better (even if it's in a circle) to bring us both up to par muscle-wise to do the straight thing.
We did a few jumps, and I think those really help his canter because he gets it right after. In the one video, you'll see that I put him on the wrong direction coming off of a jump - I looked, and I got it wrong so we slowed down and picked the canter up in the other direction. What I do have to say is he gets it. Spyder knows his leads, and he gets so upset if you try to tell him otherwise. He refuses to do it wrong, lucky me! :)
I am excited to get some videos up as I had fun yesterday, and Spyder was so well behaved/happy (becoming a trend). I only rode for about 20-30 minutes because he was such a great listener, and I was running late. Great combination for a quick ride (Chris got to witness that riding for even just 30 means means at least 1 hour at the barn)!