Got back on Ben after his having Friday and Saturday off. I spent his days off at the Region V Arab Sport Horse show helping my friend/barn mate who was showing in dressage. I met some really wonderful, supportive gals - it was a lot of fun to be back at a big show, without having to ride!
Our ride was one of mixed feelings, for me. First of all, Ben has decided to be a little bit turdy when it comes to standing for the mounting block- mostly wanting to walk right off when you are mid-mount. He has been good for so long, this is a new thing. So of course now I'm wondering if something is bothering him - saddle fit. I know my Isabell isnt a great fit for him, but I'm not in a position exactly to splurge on something new. I need to re-evaluate the gullet and padding and see if there is anything I can do.
Once I survived mounting, we worked on me stretching my legs on hole #7, and getting a good, forward walk - all the time- without me nagging.
This was going pretty good - and then I tried trotting, and I just couldn't get my act together. Everything felt wonky. Ben felt lazy, I felt jostled, and I couldn't fix it. I felt like he was either heavy in the connection, or curled behind it, and no amount of leg was fixing anything.
At one point he just wanted to canter - and I thought about bringing him down - and then decided in a split second to let it go- let him canter. he needs the practice anyway, our trot work was crap, lets do what he feels is better. So we cantered a fair bit. It was relaxed, enjoyable, mostly entirely 3-beat.
So we did that a bit- and I lightened my attitude a bit - because he really is trying, and he's so proud to do his walk-canter transitions. We even went to the left, which is my scary and his nervous way.
I did eventually go back to trot work, and I succumbed to shortening my stirrups up by a hole. That made things better, a bit, but not really by way of connection. I just focused on my own equitation, trying to figure out why i move my lower leg so dang much.
So that's it in a nut shell. It wasn't a great ride- but no one fell off, no one was naughty, and we did smile and enjoy at least some of the ride together.
One more ride today, then trainer puts in a ride Tuesday, and my lesson is on Wednesday. Fun times!