I had 2 very interesting rides on Ben this past weekend. The first one was on Friday, and the second on Sunday.
I'm not really sure what is up - unless it is just a little training blip. Or maybe it was tack, or a phase of the moon, or...?
On Friday he seemed quite resistant to everything. Now, i did change the gullet in my saddle because it was sitting too low, and I added a sheepskin saddle pad.
My horse has forgotten how to trot. He will pace. He will canter. Trot? Not so much. When I finally got him to trot (after warming up at canter, I figured I'd use the gait he did have), he was giving me this bouncy passage thing - something he does on occasion. Its really hard to ride, and kind of makes you feel seasick.
On Friday I tried working with what I had. We did transitions, I let him canter, more transitions. I eventually did squeak out a little trot, and the pace went away. He didn't seem particularly nervous- no bit grinding at all. He wasn't angry - no ear pinning, dirty stops, etc. I kind of left perplexed.
Saturday I gave him the day off while I tended to other matters, and yesterday, decided to ride again. The sun was shining and I had hoped to be able to get him outside, but the footing out there was just way too sloppy to be considered safe. I don't want to spend all winter tending to an injury, so I decided a short ride in the arena would be it.
He started out very much the same way as he did on Friday, but maybe a few notches less. I didn't have to warm him up at canter. But I did have to muddle through the passagey trot, and I kind of just laughed it off and worked on trying to keep my own equitation in order while he did that.
He did work out of it- but in the process went back to his old evasions - ducking behind the bit, feeling a bit lazy. But those I can work with.
The upside of this is that his canter has been awesome- in both directions. I've really enjoyed that!