Had a lovely flat school this morning with Soonie in the outdoor dressage arena. We basically reviewed the exercises in the 9 Aug Dressage Lesson post, with lots of great moments. No drama this time, it was all business in that ring. His trot work is better especially to the right, we had some nice bend and acceptance, and I can feel how much easier this school was compared to early August. He's much stronger and more confident in the higher outline. We stretched for a bit at the trot about 3/4 through the ride, and he was giving me some really nice steps. Big, loose, swinging trot in a deep stretch, and I sat the trot (in the stretch) well around the ring with no change in the scope or rhythm of his stride. THAT wasn't happening 8 months ago! Progress is pretty cool. He's like riding a completely different horse, I can't wait to get an updated video.
Canter work was also great, probably the best part of the ride. We did the canter loops and leg yields from the quarter line, and he was soft, obedient, and giving some great push behind. This also felt effortless for him today compared to before. Again, when I sit there grinning like an idiot during the ride, you know I'm having a freaking ball up there. I'm so happy to have those moments with him, and each one is a gift.
We also introduced Soon to a new turnout buddy. It's nice to see him out with another horse, as he's been turned out all night in an individual paddock (which means less scrapes/bumps/cuts, which is not bad). So far, the two bay Thoroughbred geldings seem to be getting along well. Charlie, his turnout companion, is an older gelding, but a bit of a nudge, but Soon seems to ignore him well enough. Fingers crossed they continue to get along well! When I turned him out on Wednesday night (their second night), Bubba ignored Charlie's attempts to play and then hung around the gate area (because I was hanging around observing them). He refused to leave until I had scratched every itch on his body, which of course I proceeded to do because he's adorable and it's one of those things you just don't forget. He basically just points or hints at what is itchy and I scratch it, we're on a whole new level of spoiled. Afterward, I led him out to the grass and eventually he started grazing when he felt scratchy satisfied.
|Perfect man <3|
|Beefcake with his new buddy|
|"You're still here, come and scratch me"|
|"I crib like a boss."|
I did Zen today for the first time in about a month, not sure if others have worked with her or not, but she is still such a good girl. She definitely wasn't where we were on the last ride, but I can't complain about a lack of consistency on the contact when she had every excuse to buck me off and run away after a potential month of no work. No lunge either, just hopped on and worked around in the jump field, then went on a short trail adventure with some fun buddies. She's great, she needs a person.