Another Friday, another flat school update. :)
Started out with a long walking warmup, incorporating serpentines and asking him to really step under himself and softly change the bend as we made the turns. This was a good thing for him, and he was really stretching into the contact right off the bat. I did some leg yielding at the walk, and after a trot warm up (where again he was stretching pretty well for so early on), we even got some steps of leg yield at the trot! That was a first. I'll be playing with a lot more school figures (serpentines, concentric circles, etc) and lateral work as we progress. Again, he's such a quick study and willing guy that I expect this will all come easily for him. We have all winter to focus on that stuff, so no great hurry. We'll continue to take our time and do it right. Thus far, that's paying off in spades with him.
Canter work was outstanding tonight as well. Transitions were a little sticky to the right (he's had several awesome right lead canter days, with first time clean transitions!), but it wasn't a huge deal and we worked through it. He had a lovely, soft, balanced canter in both directions. He is great when I sit down and ride off my seat and my leg - he relaxes nicely into the contact and is starting to really push from behind. As I've said before, moments like that really make me feel like I'm on a made (well schooled) horse with lots of flatwork mileage. Those are awesome moments to ride! I let him stretch down in the canter toward the end, and he took all the contact all the way down to the buckle in his stretch. It's hard to really explain, but he is just so fun, no matter what we're doing. We ended the session with some trotting on both a shorter outline on a shorter rein, and some really long and low, deep stretch. He felt awesome tonight for sure. :)
And of course....IT'S PUISSANCE NIGHT! :-D I miss watching the WIHS in person, and tonight it's big jump night in the nation's capitol. So fun.
(and Charlie Jayne's mare Uraya is an absolute hoot to watch...I can't help but completely lose it laughing at her bucking antics)