So today was a "relax" kind of day. I got my trailer all prepped and ready for the road trip tomorrow, hay bags filled (trying one of the slow feeder kind. Delight's gonna hate it), new shavings down, shipping wraps washed and rolled. I should be ready to roll out tomorrow at oh'dark thirty. Well, by my guesstimate (which is a totally legit planning technique), everything should be just peachy if I roll out of the barn -pony and minions in tow- by 7:30 or 8 am.
Sure. That'll be easy....
Anyway, the whole point of my ride on Delight today was to get her to just relax. And it kind of worked. I have also been riding her in the brown Crosby dressage saddle instead of my super plush Schleese (with banana panels). Upside is that it gives her broad pony shoulders room to move, downside is that there are absolutely no knee rolls or thigh blocks or any other cushy amenities to hold my in my saddle. I have to actually ride my pony... even through the 'creative' and 'expressive' moments. Drat.
But with a plenty of changes in directions and seeing how long I could get her neck in front of me -without losing the connection, because then Ponita tends to try to whirl out from under me at random intervals- Delight gave me a very good ride. There were moments where she wasn't bent quite enough through the corners, but at least she wasn't popping her shoulder out; Her canter transitions were 150% better though, which might be a combo of relaxation and saddle fit changes allowing room for her shoulders to come up again. Gone were the tail swishy, head tossing, balky transitions; replace with nice calm upward transitions. Whew.
After such a good ride on Delight, I followed suit on Tilly. She has just joined the party and has only started really shedding out this week. Of course ponies couldn't coordinate their shed out dates so that I wouldn't spend two whole months covered in horse hair; first I spend three weeks covered in little red RC hairs, followed by black velvet-y Delight hairs and now ling soft Tilly hairs. My coworkers wonder what I do in my spare time... there are horse hairs all over everything I own - computers, coats, bags, everything has some horse hair on it by now!
Moving on, Tilly has taken her return to work quite gracefully. Unfortunately she has lost quite a bit of fitness in her week and a half off, but she must have been doing some thinking on her own time because she was really quick off the aids today. Not to say that she rushed around the arena at MACH 2, but rather I asked and she answered immediately. It was quite nice having prompt w-t-w transitions and even prompt trot canter transitions! Woohoo! I've been a little down on our canter work because Tilly tends to rush through the corners and lose her balance atad (worse at the moment because she's a little out of shape), but and my sister recently pointed out to me, maybe all we need is a big enough area to actually canter a straight line. I'm going to hold on to that idea... but we shall see, after all, all of the ponies will be home in three days (yay!).
Of course by the end of half an hour she was huffing and puffing and even broke a sweat (it is a balmy 45 degrees out today), so we went for a walk and called it a day. But what a good day it was!
And poor RC, he's been neglected this week. I'm afraid that he's been shuffled to the back of the pack what with the fence building and barn prep work to get ready for the homecoming. I figure he's been working in lessons four days a week, so a few days without me riding him wont be too bad. He'll live.