So I finally got to ride today. I could not last weekend due to the rain, but it finally cleared off here this afternoon. It has now been 2 weeks since I last rode. BAH!
And of course, Dreamy was a complete and utter fire breathing dragon. Granted, she has not been worked (which has made her PISSED), but it was also VERY windy today. Also the temps have dropped dramatically, and these two things made for one high-as-a-kite pony today.
She is one hell of a crow hopper, I will tell you what. That was a first. :P
When my lunatic mare finally calmed down, I decided today was going to be a fine day to do some trotting, but mostly working on the connection to the bit at the walk. And there was no way I could canter because of the footing being soggy. So I sucked it up, told myself to feel lucky I was riding at all, and put my Puritan work ethic on the back burner. OK, in the trash.
It was actually a good thing for her to be so wound up. Usually she is so calm and stoic at home that I cannot work on relaxation techniques (such as I would need at the track or once in a while at a show). So we practiced marching at the walk and stepping up into the bridle. That one took a while. What a little brat she can be! :P
Then I would let the reins out S L O W L Y. She wanted to grab and yank, but I finally got some great transitions between our working walk and walking on a loose rein. When she feels like working, Dreamy can be pretty darn stretchy.
I did some trot work, but she was so flighty, I limited it to about 5 mins total. Plus she is out of shape. But mostly I was worried that if she did shy or crow hop at the trot, because of the soggy footing in the field, she might slip or hurt herself. The best thing is that while she was stupid, she was not unsafe.....well except for maybe the crow hops in the very first minute of the ride. LOL!
It was sorta like being at the track. She almost wanted to lose her halt, so we did a ton of halts interspersed throughout. She did not mind standing for about 3 seconds, but then wanted to shift around.....not move off like at the track, but just start shifting her weight. So it was actually a productive ride, though maybe not to my Puritan dressage standards, but nonetheless we did accomplish something by the end.
I remembered today that I wanted to do a ton of groundwork with Dreamy this winter (inspired by our run in with a tarp in a trail class this past summer......which she DID go over after a 10 second balk, but she leaped it rather than walk over it) so I must make a list of what I want to accomplish by spring. It may not improve our dressage work, but at least it will give me goals and plans for now.
I am also wondering if a copper bit would help her "dry mouth".....but I cannot find a french link eggbutt with a copper mouthpiece....only french link loose rings. Oh dear, the bit search. LOL! Well at least it will give me something to do.