The weird weather definitely wreaks havoc with turnout conditions, so the horses have been inside for a couple days. That makes for some interesting rides, on occasion, but all my mounts were pretty good. I was especially pleased with Junior. During our training session, one of the young horses got away from his handler twice and Junior kept his composure. Last year, a loose horse brought Junior's world shattering down on him (as ridiculous as that sounds, but we can never truly understand what goes on in their minds) and he was able to continue working. He gave me a great feeling right from the start and we worked much the same as the day before. One thing I tried differently in an attempt to teach a less forward moving piaffe was to try it from halt. I would trot to halt, ask for piaffe and return to halt. This sent Junior into one of his running backwards fits, but I think it may have helped to a small degree. I won't work much collection today since Pam is coming Friday and he needs to do something different. I'll likely just stretch and work very forward. Maybe some poles in the indoor if the outdoor is too wet.
Wheels is still having a desperate time getting the changes and I'm getting frustrated. I tried to leg-yield from the center line to the rail, getting him really strong onto the new outside rein and really soft on the new inside. When I got to the rail, I'd ask for the change. This proceeded to send him into nasty temper tantrums, wall kicking and ears pinned. This happened in both directions. What a drama queen!! So far, a pole on the ground is the only thing that seems to work. I guess I'll stick with that. It is possible his back is sore from being inside and working hard. Today, I'll likely work him twice to get the kinks out. I'll longe him in the morning and then do poles in the afternoon.
Boo was a very good girl. She's been working really hard and is going very well. I wish someone would come try her! She'll make somebody a lovely horse, but potential buyers need to ride her first. Regardless, it was a lungeing day for her. She needed to get her back swinging and just go really forward in canter without the distraction of a rider. She was very happy with that idea and worked nicely.
I worked another client's horse and had much success getting him to shift his weight more off his forhand and balanced. Lately, he's been roaring around on his forehand and I'm having difficulty explaining the feeling I want his rider to achieve. He needs to do transitions, transitions, transitions, but she rides so much with her hands that he's always pulling down and on his head. During my ride, as soon as he would start to balance on my hands, I would simply quietly transition to halt and let him shift his weight back to the hind leg. As soon as I would feel this weight transfer, I'd let him go back off to walk or trot, whatever we were doing before. By the end of the ride, the majority of my half halts would establish the shift in weight rather than having to stop. It was a really nice feeling and I'm anxious to work on this again today.
As I thought, Spider was perfect. He must have been born wearing a bridle because he opened his mouth searching for the bit. He stood rock still in the aisle while I adjusted the bridle, didn't chomp and throw his head around and by the time we got to the indoor, his mouth was foamy white. He worked on the longe with a halter over the bridle and a surcingle. Afterward, he parallel parked at the mounting block and I stood above him and leaned over his back. He could have cared less and never took a step. I brought him back to the barn, took off his bridle, threw a saddle on (he's very wide!) and brought him back out to the mounting block. I banged on the saddle, put weight on it, leaned on him...nothing. He'd turn his head and play with me or the saddle, but that was all. Can't wait to jump on!!
Flagg was only longed with a halter for exercise...ran out of time and energy. He'll go second today so that he doesn't get passed by the wayside. Poor guy, he loves to work.