Thunderstorms again today - but shows are getting close so I decided to risk a quick ride on Whiskey ... she was so good at the end of the ride I dropped her bridle and rode just using one rein as a strap :)
I went out and set up the poles so I could start working on trail - Ivy was in the back of the field grazing (peacefully, well away from Whiskey's pen - which made me very happy). She wandered up and "helped" me set up the poles, so I led her in the front paddock, then got whiskey out.
I worked on walk, pivot (both ways), jog and extended jog, then back to jog. After we warmed up we started going over the poles and she was very clean with her feet. We had some trouble with lope overs at the clinic, so I just set up two lope overs at a 90 degree angle and practiced loping up to them, getting my spacing right, and going over smoothly. When we would get off in our approach, I stopped, backed her up, then approached again. Did it very calmly, low energy, and stopped as soon as she didn't rush at all - either in the approach, between the poles, or after we got through it. (took about 12 tries).
Then started an exercise she hated.
I loped her in a circle to the right, but when I finished the circle I started a circle to the left, but kept her on the right lead and made her counter canter - she hated this. After counter cantering one circle, we went back to the right circle, then stopped, pivoted, and repeated the other direction.
The second time I did this I asked for a correct lead halfway through the counter canter, and she gave me a flying lead change (she was like - thank you!) - I am going to have Kellie video it so I can see how it looks -
We then worked on a jog for awhile, I two handed my reins and lifted her head and shoulders up so she gave me a shorter, softer stride - she tends to get long and heavy on the forehand. When she was consistent we stopped.
I was feeling pretty good about our ride, so I leaned forward, dropped her bridle, hung it from my saddle horn and used one rein as a neck strap and kept with jogging, stopping, turns and pivots across the arena - she was calm and relaxed - it was fun!
Finally, finished with a showmanship drill and called it a day - cleaned the stalls, gave Ivy a good brush down and fed them their dinner. A good day.
There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Nelson Mandela