Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July!  Hope everyone has a great holiday.  Please be careful if you have the heat and humidity that we have here in Virginia.  It doesn’t take much to become overheated in this weather.  Ike and I celebrated with an early morning ride to avoid the mid-day sun.  I opted not to ride yesterday and gave Ike and Cigar cold sponge baths to remove the crusty salt layer from their coats.  One odd note from the sponge baths…Ike decided to drink the salty water in my bucket.  Silly pony.  He does love his salt block, so maybe he figured he was replacing the lost electrolytes.

There were no residual issues from the temper tantrum the other day.  Ike’s work today was solid.  I started with walk-halt transitions since that is where we had issues on Monday.  Today – perfect, so I tried some turn on the haunches.  Turns to the left are better than those to the right.  It is still a new concept for Ike, but he is trying to comprehend what I want.  Trot work was also good today.  We are getting better with our connection (read – the rider is getting better at maintaining the connection and throughness.)  I can tell when we are not completely connected – Ike’s head waggles from side to side.  It stops as soon as I reconnect.  He makes me ride rather than cruise.  I’m still focusing on our rhythm on our circles and not losing the forward as we ride the arc of the circle.  Ike has definitely improved his balance and the hind end drifts less frequently on the arc.

Our canter work today was brief, but why overschool when the work offered is solid.  Ike nailed all the transitions and our circles actually resembled circles rather than eggs.  Progress!  I do like that the canter transitions in Training Level Test 2 are in the corners rather than on a circle.  We are less likely to lose the hind end and pick up the wrong lead or be disunited.  I can use the corner to help set up Ike for success.  Now I just need to learn and memorize the rest of the test.  I’ve got 25 days – piece of cake.

p.s. Please remember to keep your animals safe tonight when the fireworks start.  They don’t realize that it is a celebration.

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