I was so excited to ride tonight. I thought a lot about Tuesday's ride and realised that rides like that are necessary to make me really appreciate what an amazing special horse I have. I can't expect her to be perfect all the time, and with the recent fun she's had in the fields (even if it wasn't necessarily fun for the rider), who can blame her for not wanting to concentrate in the ring?
So I approached today's ride like an opportunity to have a clean slate, so to speak. I did decide to switch her bit to the copper french link snaffle I had bought when I first got her, before someone recommended the Waterford. I think the Waterford has been perfect for her so far, but it's time to move on.
She did really well with the new bit. I also used my figure 8 bridle on her so that she couldn't run around with her mouth open to escape the bit. It took a few laps around the ring for her to figure everything out but once she relaxed, wow, what an amazing ride. I didn't really ask a whole lot from her and let her be forward as long as she was light in the bridle. As soon as she started hanging on me, she got a speed check. I know she likes to cruise along a bit, and letting her do so was her reward for not dragging me around. We had the most lovely trot work and when we cantered, it was a clear three-beat gait and we even had a few almost-rocking-horse moments. I think we are getting there!
On Tuesday I had tried to canter her over some poles and she would see the pole, lock down on it and take off. Today she was able to canter over them on a fairly loose rein without changing the pace at all. She was happy and relaxed and so lovely. She got a ton of praise and I made a huge deal of it every time she did something well (which was like every two strides ;) ). She gets so proud of herself when she knows she's done well.
After our ride, I rode her all over the property at the walk and took her across the street to walk through the development over there, where she added two little girls to her fan club. They were in their yard playing soccer and squealed in delight when they saw the horse. I called over to them to tell them they could come pet Lucy if they wanted to, and they both ran over to say hi. Lucy got lots of pats and was very good about the whole thing, even though it was past her dinner time. :D
She was mostly cooled out by the time we went back to the barn, but I untacked her and let her graze, which I never really do. She was in horsey heaven. Then she got her dinner and a ton of carrots and mints and treats and I told her about a million times how awesome she was. It's supposed to be in the 40's here tonight and tomorrow so I had to put her sheet on her, which was kind of weird after it being almost 80 degrees today. She also got some extra hay.
Also!!! I found a trailer ride for Lucy to the RISPCA Ride that I designed the logo for!! I am so excited. It's on May 2 and I think Lucy is going to love it.
And for the grand finale, here are some photos of OC looking like the King of the Backhoe: